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THE 

THREE HOUR 

3ERM0N 

PAUL KANAMORT 



tihvavy of €Ke trheolo^ical ^tminavy 

PRINCETON • NEW JERSEY 
PRESENTED BY 

DelavsJi L, Pierson 

BV 3797 .K3 1920 
Kanamori, Paul 
The three hour sermon on 
God, sin and salvation 



THE THREE HOUR SERMON 



^' 



THE THREE HOUR 
SERMON 

ON 



God^ Sin and Salvation 



BY 

PAUL' KAN AMORI 

JAPANESE EVANGELIST 



With Foreword By 

ROBERT E. SPEER 




New York Chicago 

Fleming H. Revell Company 

London and Edinburgh 



G)p>Tight, 1920. by 
FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY 



New York: 158 Fifth Avenue 
Chicago: 17 North Wabash Ave. 
London: 21 Paternoster Square 
Edinbtirgh: 75 Princes Street 



FOREWORD 

MR. KANAMORI preaches a gospel 
which he knows and lives. His pres- 
ent work in Japan is unique in its 
character and its influence. A remarkable 
personal experience lies behind it, and no one 
can doubt that the power of the Spirit of God 
is in it. 

His Christian faith began in Kumamoto in 
the island of Kyushu nearly fifty years ago. 
Captain Janes, an American army officer, at 
the request of the ex-daimyo of Higo had pro- 
vided a school in his capital of Kumamoto. 
By his words and by the example of his loving 
conduct Captain Janes from the first " enlisted 
the hearts of the students for Christianity.*' 
In his History of Protestant Missions in Japan, 
Ritter gives a brief account of the founding 
of the Kumamoto Band, drawn largely from 
what Mr. Kanamori, who was one of its mem- 
bers, reported: 

" Ever}' Saturday evening he read the Bible 
with his pupils. At first they only took part 
in order to learn English and in order to criti- 



6 FOREWORD 

cize * the Christian teaching ; but finally it con- 
quered us/ * He used to ask us to relate to the 
lower classes of the people in Japanese what we 
had learned out of the English Bible/ At last 
thirty of them entered into a sacred covenant, 
in which they dedicated themselves solemnly to 
Christ as His servants, and promised to re- 
nounce the worship of idols. In connection 
with the hostility against all innovations, 
against foreigners and Christians, which had 
raged since 1873 through Kyushu, this small 
band had to undergo persecution and severe 
trials, now through the mockery and hatred of 
their fellow-students, who were otherwise 
minded, and now through the anger of their 
troubled parents. Some of them indeed were 
compelled to leave Kumamoto, and Kanamori, 
after his return home, paid for his steadfast- 
ness by being confined to his house for several 
weeks. 

"About twenty of this band broke their 
vow, but ten of these renewed it again and 
showed, together with the ten who remained 
faithful, and ten others who afterwards joined 
the band, that a Japanese knows how to suffer 
for what he has learned to be true." 

There is a fuller account of the Kumamoto 
Band in Dr. M, L. Gordon's An 'American 



FOREWORD 7 

Missionary in Japan. I heard one of its mem- 
bers at Northfield thirty years ago tell the story 
of the band and of the night on the hilltop 
when they took their pledge to their new faith 
and signed it in their blood : 

*' We have lately studied the Christian re- 
ligion, and are greatly impressed with its truth. 
We therefore want to spread it through our 
country, and in this endeavour we will regard 
our lives but dust and ashes. By writing our 
several names we do hereby solemnly swear to 
the sincerity of our intentions. Amen." 

These men were the main founders of the 
Kumiai or Congregational Churches in Japan 
and some of them, Ebina, Miyagawa, Harada, 
and Kanamori, are today, after a lapse of half 
a century, among the outstanding leaders of 
Japanese Christianity. From Captain Janes's 
School they went to the Doshisha as the first 
theological students and thence passed out into 
the pastorates of the strongest Kumiai Congre- 
gations. Mr. Kanamori became minister of 
one of the leading churches in Tokyo. 

In the early nineties, however, a tide of 
reaction and rationalism set in in Japan and 
many of the Kumamoto Band were carried 
away, Mr. Kanamori was then a professor 
of theology. One of the missionaries in Japan 
wrote two years ago of what befell him: 



8 FOREWORD 

" He began to read upon the most recent 
German theology, with the result that he was 
completely swept off his feet by the rational- 
istic New Theology, Higher Criticism, etc. 
Not long after that he published his new views 
under the title The Present and Future of 
Christianity in Japan, and retired from the 
ministry. The rationalistic German mission at 
that time asked him to come over and work 
with them, but he could not bear to devote 
himself to breaking down what his former col- 
leagues were trying to build up, and preferred 
to give himself to lecturing on thrift, which he 
did for many years with conspicuous success. 

" He remained in this state of spiritual dark- 
ness for twenty years, until the death of his 
wife brought him and his children into great 
trouble, but after passing through these deep 
waters he came out again with a clear and firm 
belief in the old-fashioned gospel. He told me 
that he had arranged his affairs so as to pro- 
vide for his family, and now had determined 
to devote the remaining years of his life to 
preaching the simple gospel throughout the 
country, as he had once preached the principles 
of economy. 

" Shortly before he came to speak for us 
he had completed a book of one hundred and 
eighty pages, in which the whole Gospel is 



FOREWORD 9 

presented in the simplest possible language. 
Any Japanese who can read at all can under- 
stand this book. I read it through and was 
astonished that Japanese could be made so 
simple and at the same time so clear and force- 
ful. I think it must be the simplest Japanese 
that ever was printed. No one but a master 
could have written so simply. It is said that 
when he had finished the first draft he read it 
all to a primary school boy and that he altered 
all the passages which the boy failed to grasp. 
He did not tell me this him.self, but it may well 
be true. 

" The contents of it are to me more surpris- 
ing than the style. The book takes its stand on 
the Holy Scriptures in both Old and New 
Testaments with the same confident appeal 
that a man might make who never had heard 
of any * new thought.' No Dutch dominie 
could state the central doctrines of our re- 
ligion in a more absolutely orthodox, scrip- 
tural, and evangelical manner than they are 
given in this little book. In addition to that, 
it is interesting, and thoroughly adapted to the 
common people in Japan. The man who wrote 
it evidently knows his countrymen.*' 

Mr. Kanamori has set out now on a unique 
evangelistic mission with a method all his own. 



lo FOREWORD 

He has condensed the presentation of the 
essentials of the Christian faith into one three- 
hour sermon. The first hour is devoted to the 
Christian doctrine of God, the second to sin, 
and the third to salvation. This sermon he 
preaches every night to a different congrega- 
tion. Those who hear it once are requested 
not to return, but to send their friends. This 
sermon Mr. Kanamori has preached more than 
800 times to over 300,000 people, on the 
Pacific Coast, in Japan, and in Hawaii. It is 
his practice to see no one in the afternoons, 
but after luncheon to give himself to prayer 
and fasting in preparation for the evening, 
and after the sermon to call for immedi- 
ate decisions of acceptance of the Chris- 
tian faith. Of the 300,000 who have heard, 
approximately 50,000 have responded to his 
appeal. 

Of Mr. Kanamori^s manner of preaching, 
Dr. S. H. Wainright wrote an interesting ac- 
count in the Japan Advertiser of February 11, 
1919, describing the evangelistic meetings 
which Mr. Kanamori was conducting under 
the auspices of the Fujimicho Presbyterian 
Church in Tokyo, whose pastor, the 
Rev. M. Uemura, is one of the ablest 
and most remarkable Christian leaders in 
Asia : 



FOREWORD II 

" Though he has reached the age of sixty- 
three," wrote Dr. Wainright, " Mr. Kanamori 
is most strenuous in his activity. He is ex- 
tremely plain and unconventional in manner 
and dress. He does not wear the frock coat so 
indispensable to the public speaker in Japan, 
nor has he that stiffness of manner so char- 
acteristic of those who affect Confucian pro- 
prieties. He held up a copy of the Scriptures 
before the audience as a * basis ' of all he had 
to say and as a ' book not written in the high 
style of the Confucian Classics but in the lan- 
guage of the people.* There is little action in 
the ordinary discourse of a Japanese preacher, 
which is to say that there is little of the force 
and vividness of the dramatic in his speech. So 
slight is the dependence upon movements of 
the body to aid in expression that gesticula- 
tion with the hands even is used with great 
restraint. But the ardour of Mr. Kanamori is 
too whole-souled for him to be held within 
such limits; yet there was a self-possession in 
his manner truly characteristic of the Japa- 
nese. Any one witnessing his quiet mastery of 
the audience Sunday evening would be com- 
pelled to admit that the use of violent propa- 
ganda is not inherent in the religious senti- 
ment. It would have been equally as clear 
that reasoning as well as dogmatic affirmation 



12 FOREWORD 

can have weight with the multitudes. The 
speaker held to certain broad truths which he 
made real to the imagination by means of 
concrete illustrations, and at times he rose to 
the height of passion as when speaking of 
national evils. But it was a reasoned discourse 
from beginning to end. Ideas played a more 
prominent part than the emotional element; a 
fact to be explained not only by the preponder- 
ance of non-Christians in the audience, but also 
by the circumstances that ideas figure more 
prominently in the public speech in the east 
than in the west, where instruction rather than 
oratory has been the form of discourse. Yet 
at times the emotions of his audience were 
raised to a heightened degree of intensity, as 
for example when he gave an account of the 
death of Christ by crucifixion, suffering a vi- 
carious death. The description was unsur- 
passed in the vivid and pathetic reality of the 
picture and of its significance. The suggestive 
power of the speaker^s words was made more 
effective by the intensity of his own conviction. 
" My feeling was that Christianity in Japan 
had reached a new phase in the preaching of 
Mr. Kanamori. The story of the cross, the 
singular fascination of which has been so ir- 
resistible as told in the language of many races 
and nations, has found living expression, with 



FOREWORD 13 

moral power, in the colloquial speech of the 
Japanese people. Many of Mr. Kanamori's 
illustrations, as for example the covenant of 
the 47 Ronin sealed injblood, were drawn from 
the native environment. That the platform 
Sunday evening succeeded in overcoming the 
gulf between the Christian message and the 
popular soul was rendered evident by the fact 
that 673 persons in the audience decided to 
enter upon the Christian life." 

Many who have heard of Mr. Kanamori's 
sermon but who do not understand Japanese 
have been anxious to hear or read it in Eng- 
lish. They have wanted to know how an able 
Japanese with such an experience as Mr. Kana- 
mori's would put the Christian message. Mis- 
sionaries in other lands have expressed a desire 
to see it as an exhibit in Christian apologetics, 
in co-operative religion and in evangelistic 
method. Mr. Kanamori, who knows English 
well, has himself written out the sermon in 
English and it is now made available to all. 
I trust that it may have a wide circulation. 
All proceeds from its sale received by Mr. 
Kanamori will serve to enable him to carry 
on more widely his present most fruitful work. 
It is his ambition, he says, to preach orally to 
3,000,000 of his countrymen and to reach 



14 FOREWORD 

17,000,000 more by printed copies of his ser- 
mon. Thus single-handed he would offer the 
Gospel to one-third of the people of Japan. 
He holds that this is a day of unlimited oppor- 
tunity and that there is no reason whatsoever 
why Japan cannot be evangelized in this gen- 
eration. 

Robert E. Speer. 



CONTENTS 

Preliminary Introduction ... 19 

Part I Concerning God ... 33 

Part II Concerning Sin . , , (y^j 

Part III Concerning Salvation . 107 



PRELIMINARY INTRODUCTION 



THREE HOUR SERMON 

ON 

GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 

PRELIMINARY INTRODUCTION 

THIS is a theatre. It is therefore 
usually a place of amusement. But to- 
night we have changed it into a Chris- 
tion church in order that we may hold a 
religious service in place of a dramatic per- 
formance. 

It is a custom among us Christians, as you 
doubtless know, to offer prayer to our God at 
the beginning of such a service. God is every- 
where. He is with us here this evening. And 
now as I speak to Him in prayer, invoking His 
blessing upon this meeting, will you kindly 
keep perfectly quiet and give me your help 
either by silently offering your own prayer 
with mine or at least by keeping yourselves in 
a prayerful mood? 
Let us pray, 

19 



20 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

PRAYER 

Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, 
we thank Thee for this great gathering of the 
people tonight to hear from the lips of Thine 
unworthy servant the wondrous gospel of Thy 
Son Jesus Christ. We beseech Thee, our 
Heavenly Father, that Thou wilt give Thy 
servant wisdom and power from above that 
he may be able truthfully and impressively to 
present the gospel of Christ in its purity and 
simplicity. Help him to be bold and fearless 
in proclaiming Thy truths to those who need 
them. 

We pray Thee, our Father, that Thou wUt 
pour out Thy Holy Spirit upon this great con- 
gregation. And, now, open Thou their spir^ 
itual ears and let them hear not the voice of 
man but the voice of God. Open their spiritual 
eyes and let them see not merely the things 
n^hich are visible to the natural eye but thes 
things also which are invisible. May their 
hearts be opened and may they receive the light 
from heaven and being enlightened by it, may 
they be able to find out for themselves that they 
are great /sinners in the sight of God. And 
thus being convicted of sin may they be drawn 
to the cross of Jesus Christ the blessed Saviour 
of the world. Oh Father, let these people 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 21 

know that there is none other God beside Thee, 
Thou art the only true and living God of the 
universe. Show thyself to them here and now, 
and let them see Thy glory and be saved. We 
ask this in the precious name of Thy only Son 
Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. 

THE A B C OF CHRISTIANITY 

My friends, the subject of my discourse to- 
night is, What is Christianity, or what is the 
true nature of the religion of Jesus? 

In this congregation I beHeve there are many 
Christians, and many others who have known 
for some time more or less about the Chris- 
tian religion. But I feel sure that there are 
also very many in this audience who have not 
yet become acquainted with the teachings of 
this great religion and who tonight for the 
first time in their lives will hear a Christian 
sermon. And be it understood from the start 
that my talk this evening is for this last-named 
class of hearers only. Because tonight I pro- 
pose to speak about the fundamental truths of 
Christianity, the ABC of the Christian re- 
ligion. 

Therefore to many present my talk may con- 
tain nothing that is really new, and to such I 
fear it may prove quite uninteresting. Still I 
believe that the whole of Christianity is con- 



22 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

tained in these fundamental truths just as an 
oak tree is contained in an acorn. Therefore, 
if you understand these fundamentals thor- 
oughly you can grasp all the teachings of the 
Christian religion. So I feel that it is very 
important for those who wish to know what 
Christianity is to have first of all a clear con- 
ception of these primal truths. I hope you all 
will be kind enough to listen patiently to my 
talk on these first principles of Christianity. 

WHY so FEW CHRISTIANS IN JAPAN 

You all know that in this country of ours 
the Christian religion has secured as yet but a 
very small number of followers compared with 
other religions. There are only a little over 
one hundred thousand Christians of all the 
various Protestant denominations. That is 
indeed a very small proportion of our people. 

The whole population of Japan proper at 
present is about sixty millions. Therefore the 
^^'^'/^proportion of Protestant Christians to the en- 
tire population is but one in six hundred. And 
I think the first and most important reason 
why there are so few Christians in Japan is 
that the larger part of our people have not yet 
had an opportunity of having the gospel of 
Christ presented to them. They have never 
heard Christian sermons nor read Christian 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 23 

books. They do not know what the Christian 
religion is. They are ignorant of the teach- 
ings of Christ. People can not believe in a 
religion about which they know nothing. 
Without a knowledge of the true nature of 
the religion of Christ how can they believe? 
Unless some one goes to them and preaches 
the gospel to them how can they know it? 
So I should say that this ignorance of our 
people as to the true nature of Christianity 
is the main reason why they do not believe in 
it, and why there are so few Christians in the 
country. 

But there is yet another reason which has .,-> 
kept back our people from believing in Chris- T 
tianity. It was not simply because they did 
not understand it, but because they were afraid 
to have anything to do with it. They had 
been taught to hate it and had come to despise 
its very name. 

You know that for many centuries before 
the Restoration of 1868 Christianity was 
strictly prohibited in our country. All who 
professed to be Christians ran the risk of suf- 
fering capital punishment. I remember the 
time when we used to see the government 
notice boards set up in various places, stating 
that " Belief in the evil religion of Christ is 
strictly forbidden by order." 



24 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

I have seen many times people trampling 
upon the cross of Christ by order of govern- 
ment officials. This was called picture tram- 
pling, because people were ordered to trample 
upon a picture of Jesus upon the cross. It was 
a great occasion and was counted as one of 
the great festivals of the year. If any one 
refused to step upon the picture he would be 
arrested on the spot and thrown into prison. 
Even after the Restoration there were found 
many Christians in the prisons in various parts 
of the country. No wonder Japanese people 
at large should be afraid of believing in a re- 
ligion thus despised. 

Although at the present time there is no such 
barbarous law on the statute books of Japan, 
yet the odium of the olden time prohibition 
still attaches to the name of the religion of 
Jesus. So you see it is of the first importance 
that these prejudices be removed by teaching 
our people the true nature of the Christian 
religion, and helping them to see for them- 
selves its lasting truth and beauty. 

THE TRUE MOTIVE OF PREACHING 

I am now a Christian, and I am preaching 
Christianity to my fellow countrymen. But 
at first I did not like this new religion. I be- 
lieved with the rest of my countrymen that it 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 25 

was a false faith and that the introduction of 
such an evil religion into our beloved country- 
would be a great misfortune. I thought it the 
duty of all patriots to oppose in every way the 
spread of such a religion in our country. 

When I really heard Christian preaching 
and read the Bible and studied it carefully, I 
came to the conclusion that Christianity is not 
only a good religion but it is the best religion, 
in fact the only true religion in the world. 
Its introduction into our country is not only 
useful but urgently necessary. Without its 
teachings no country can ever become truly 
civilized, powerful and righteous. 

Now, you know, when we have found any- 
thing good and profitable to our people and our 
country it is our highest duty to tell it to our 
fellow countrymen, and share with them the 
benefits thereof. On the other hand, when we 
have found anything bad and harmful to our 
fellow countrymen it is also our paramount 
duty to warn them of it. We must share with 
our fellow countrymen our knowledge of all 
things good or bad. This is true patriotism. 

My friends, this is the only motive which 
impels me to preach Christianity to my coun- 
trymen. I am not preaching for my own 
profit. Please do not misunderstand me on 
this point. 



26 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

My one and only object in preaching tonight 
is to give you an opportunity to examine and 
understand the true nature of the Christian re- 
ligion, and accept it for your own sake. That 
is all and nothing else. Therefore, after hear- 
ing me tonight, if you feel that you are con- 
vinced of the truth and the worth of the Chris- 
tian religion, I earnestly urge you to accept it 
now and become a follower of Jesus Christ. 
But if you are not so convinced, and still think 
that it is not a good religion, you are free to 
reject it. I have no wish to force it upon you. 
You are at liberty either to accept or reject it. 
But after being fully convinced of the truth of 
the Christian religion, if you still resist that 
conviction and refuse to follow its leading 
through fear of unpleasant consequences, then 
I should call that an act of cowardice. 

You know the saying of our venerable sage, 
" If a man will not obey the mandate of his 
conscience and reason, it should be counted to 
him as an act of cowardice." 

It is my duty, friends, this evening to pre- 
sent the great truths of Christianity in such a 
way that you may grasp them in one hearing, 
and make an intelligent decision as to whether 
or not you will accept them. 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 27 

THE WHOLE TRUTH IN ONE SERMON 

Now to accomplish such a purpose I must 
necessarily proceed a little differently from our 
usual method of preaching. Generally we 
preach one truth or one part of this great re- 
ligion at a time. One Sunday I might be 
preaching about the love of God. Another 
Sunday about the righteousness of God, and 
so on. So that if you should come to our serv- 
ice but one Sunday you could learn but one 
truth or one side of the Christian religion. If 
you come continuously, after hearing many 
sermons you might be able to learn the whole 
truth. But tonight I am going to give you the 
whole truth at one time. I will try to pack 
the truths of Christianity into one sermon, so 
that you may grasp the whole at one hearing 
and make your final decision for it at this time. 

If you were going to tell the people what the 
form of a human body is you would not speak 
about the feet or hands only. Because though 
they are very important members of the human 
body yet they do not constitute the whole body. 
You might explain the construction of these 
members as fully and as minutely as possible, 
yet you could never in this way alone make 
people understand what the shape of the 
human body is. In order to make people un- 



28 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

derstand this you must show them the whole 
body from head to foot at one view. You 
must show them that the human head is a 
round thing, resting on the neck and trunk; 
that the arms and hands hang on the sides of 
the trunk; while the legs and feet support the 
whole. Then they can get some idea of the 
general shape and appearance of the human 
body. 

In the same way I will show you tonight 
the whole of Christianity, from head to foot, 
in one long look. 

DO NOT COME A SECOND TIME 

Before I proceed, however, I must ask one 
favor from you all, a favor I ask in every 
place where I speak on this subject. That is, 
please do not leave the place in the middle of 
my sermon. As you have come to hear me 
preach, please stay to the very end. If you 
leave before the close not only will you fail to 
understand my sermon, but I am afraid you 
will misunderstand it. I have been several 
times misunderstood by those who have heard 
only a part of my sermon, especially as the last 
section in which I deal with what may be called 
the soul or life of the Christian religion is the 
most important part. If you miss that last 
section you can never get the living form of 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 29 

Christianity, for without it Christianity is a 
dead religion. 

But if you stay to the end and hear my 
whole sermon I believe you can get a fair 
knowledge of the outHne of the Christian re- 
ligion. Of course in a one-night talk I can not 
go into details and speak of the deep things of 
Christianity ; but I hope I can give you at least 
such a bird's-eye view of Christianity as you 
would get of a city from an airplane flying 
above it. 

One thing more, I preach here tomorrow 
night also. But I am going to preach the same 
sermon again, exactly the same sermon as to- 
night. Therefore, those who hear me tonight 
need not come again tomorrow evening. One 
hearing is enough. And there are many in this 
city who could not come tonight and who have 
not yet heard Christian preaching. Perhaps 
there are many such in your own homes or 
among your friends. Won't you send them or 
bring them here tomorrow evening and let 
them also hear the gospel of Christ? I desire 
that all our people should have an opportunity 
to hear the way of salvation. Of course if 
there are any among you who wish to hear 
the same sermon again, then come tomorrow 
evening also. I will not object to your com- 
ing again, and perhaps you can understand it 
better by hearing it twice. 



PART I 

CONCERNING GOD 



THE BIBLE THE ONLY BOOK 

MY friends, this is the Bible. This is 
the only book of the Christian re- 
ligion. There is none beside this one 
book that can be called the book of Chris- 
tianity. 

There are innumerable books written con- 
cerning Christianity but if you ask what is the 
book of Christianity, I answer that this Bible 
is the only book and there is none beside. This 
Bible consists of two parts, the Old and the 
New Testament. The Old Testament was 
written before Christ, and the New Testament 
after Christ. The whole Bible contains sixty- 
six different books, of which thirty-nine are in 
the Old Testament and twenty-seven are in the 
New Testament. 

For those who read the Bible the first time 
I think it is easier and better to begin with the 
New Testament, especially with the four 
gospel stories of Christ. This Bible is not a 
difficult book to read like the books of Con- 
fucius and Mencius. It is written in a plain 
and easy style. Moreover it has Kana [the 
Japanese Syllabary] beside the Chinese char- 



34 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

acters, so that any one who knows Kana can 
read every page of the entire book. And the 
Bible is not a very costly book. You can get 
the whole Bible for less than half a dollar, and 
a copy of the New Testament for five cents. 
Therefore any one who has fifty cents can buy 
the entire book of the Christian religion, and 
if he knows forty-eight Kana he can read the 
jl whole Bible through. I think there is no other 
I religion in the world which is so easy to study 
;' as Christianity. So I hope you will all get 
that Bible and read it carefully, then you can 
understand for yourselves what Christianity is. 
However, to read the Bible through is not 
an easy task. My Bible has twelve hundred 
and twenty pages. To read through a book of 
over a thousand pages is rather hard work. 
Moreover, in one sermon I couldn't explain the 
Bible from beginning to end. But it is not 
necessary to do that in order to understand the 
Christian religion. 

There is another and much shorter way. I 
have read this Bible through, studying it care- 
fully, and I have found that there are three 
great points around which all its teachings 
cluster. 

These are: first, God; secondly, Sin; and, 
thirdly. Salvation. These three are its funda- 
mental truths. All other teachings hang on 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 35 

these three. And now therefore as soon as 
you fully understand these three points you 
jean easily understand all the other teachings, 
j ;So I think it is absolutely necessary for those 
who wish to understand the Christian religion 
to get a clear conception of these fundamental 
truths. Now I will explain each of these in 
order. 

A LAND OF MILLION GODS 

The first is God. So I must tell you first of 
all about God. But when I say I must speak 
about God, there are many people among you 
who say at once : " Oh, we know gods. No 
Japanese can be ignorant of gods, seeing our 
country is in the land of the gods. — We have 
eight million gods in our country. We have 
god-shelves in our homes. We have tutelary 
gods in our towns and villages. What need 
is there of hearing any more about gods, when 
every one knows them and worships them? 
If it is a talk about gods that we are listening 
to we need not come to a Christian service to 
hear it. We have imported many good things 
from the western countries, such as railroads, 
steamships, the telegraph, and so on, because 
we did not have them before in our country. 
But what use is there of importing more gods 
from the western world when we have so many 



36 THE THREE PIOUR SERMON 

gods here already, perhaps more than we 
need?" 

That is the objection raised by many of our 
people to the teaching of God. 

It is true that all Japanese believe in gods 
from childhood. I am a Japanese. I am not a 
foreigner. In my father's house we had a god- 
shelf. In my own town we had the shrine of 
the tutelary god. I know very well that our 
land is a land of eight million gods. From my 
childhood I was a most devoted worshipper of 
the gods. My own guardian god was the god 
of writing [Ten Zin]. Our family crest is the 
plum blossom, which, as you know, is the crest 
of the god Ten Zin. We used to say that our 
family is related in some way to that god of 
writing. In devotion to the gods of our an- 
cestors I was not a whit behind any other 
Japanese. 

But you see the gods that we Japanese used 
to worship are entirely different from the God 
whom Christians worship, and I will try to 
show you the difference between the Japanese 
gods and the Christian's God. 

THE christian's CONCEPTION OF GOD 

I will begin with the God of Christianity. 
Christianity teaches that there is onlyone 
true God in the universe. One and not many. 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 37 

If you ask who is this one true God, Chris- 
tianity will answer thus: The one true God 
whom we Christians worship is the God who 
made heaven and earth, and all things therein. 
God is the Creator of the Universe. 

When I say heaven in this connection I 
mean the heavenly bodies — the sun, moon and 
stars. All these heavenly bodies were created 
by God. Earth here means of course the 
globe whereon we live ; and by " all things," 
I mean all animals and birds, grasses and trees, 
and everything else that we find upon the face 
of the earth, having Man at the head of 
creation. 

Thus Christianity teaches that all things in 
heaven and on earth were created by God in 
the beginning, and there is nothing in the 
whole universe that was not created by Him. 

You know this building did not come of it- 
self. It was built, but by whom? Of course 
by carpenters. Thus in the same way this uni- 
verse did not come of itself. It was created by 
God — in the beginning. And the Creator of 
this universe must be One. There cannot be 
two creators in this one universe. This is the 
Christian conception, of God. 



38 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

THE JAPANESE CONCEPTION OF GOD 

If you compare these two conceptions you 
can easily understand the difference between 
the gods whom we worship in Japan and the 
God whom Christians worship, according to 
the teachings of the Bible. 

But, remember this, that when I tell you 
stories of the gods of Japan I am giving you 

; my own personal experiences. Because I my- 
self believed in these gods from my childhood. 

, So you see I am not simply quoting from some- 
body else. On the contrary, mine are all first- 
hand personal experiences. 

THERE IS NO GOD WITHOUT A NAME 

In Japan people say there are many gods, 
even eight million of them. This is a funda- 
mental difference — belief in many gods and 
belief in one God. Moreover, Japanese gods 
have names. There is no nameless god in this 
country, just as there is no nameless man in 
this town. 

If you go to any town and simply inquire 
for a man nobody can answer you. There is 
no such thing as a man without a name in the 

Itown. You must ask for such and such a 
man by name. Just so, if you simply say god 
in this country nobody can understand what 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 39 

god you are speaking of. You must give the 
name of the particular god you are asking for. 

Hachiman — Ten Zin — Gongen — Konjin — 
and so on. 

We have a mountain god, a wind god, a 
water god, a fire god, an earth god, and so on. 
We were taught in this country that the dif- 
ferent parts of the world are governed by dif- 
ferent sets of gods, just as the different prov- 
inces of the country are governed by dif- 
ferent governors. Not only that, but towns 
and villages have their own tutelary gods to 
guard and protect them. 

The tutelary god of my own town was the 
fire god. Once a year we used to have a great 
festival in his honour. On that day the people 
made a great pile of firewood in front of the 
big shrine and burned it all through the night. 
Toward dawn, when all the wood was burned, 
leaving a big bed of red coals, the priests who 
had been dancing all night in the temple, with 
drawn swords in one hand and tinkling bells 
in the other, came down from the temple and; 
ran barefooted over the coals but were not 
burned. This was regarded as a miracle. 
Great crowds from far and near came to see 
this miraculous deed. After the priests had 
several times run over the fire, the people them- 
selves began to run through the fire, trampling 



tTL 



40 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

upon it, believing that thus they would gain 
some benefit for themselves. The ashes were 
later carried away, for the people believed 
those ashes had great healing power for many 
kinds of diseases. 

THE THUNDER GOD 

When I was a child we believed that thunder 
was a terrible god. Whenever we heard the 
thunder rolling we thought the thunder god 
was angry and kicking around in heaven, thus 
making a tremendous noise. And we were 
told that the lightning was the fire in his eyes 
when he gazed at a wicked man. At such 
times we used to crawl under the mosquito 
nets and try to hide ourselves, for we were 
I told that even the thunder god could not reach 
us through the net. And if he should fall 
down on the net it is so soft and light he 
would be tangled in it and could do no harm 
to the person inside. 

Oftentimes a man walking in the field was 
struck down by the lightning and killed. Then 
the people said, " That man must have been a 
very bad man, because the thunder god has 
fallen from heaven upon him and punished 
him for his wickedness." But, we boys at 
such times said, " Why, if the thunder god 
has come down from heaven to punish that one 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 41 

man, how can he get back to heaven again, 
seeing there is no ladder on earth which 
reaches to heaven?" But we were told: 
" There is no need of such a ladder for the 
\ thunder god because he can go back to heaven 
J by climbing any tall tree. Go and see that pine 
tree yonder then you can understand how the 
thunder god has gone back to heaven." On 
going we found the tree had been split from 
top to bottom, and this was said to be done 
by the thunder god climbing that tree in order 
to get back to heaven. 

Yes, the thunder god was regarded as one 
of the most dreadful gods of the country. We 
used to see pictures of the thunder god. He 
looked something like a black devil beating 
drums with all his might. And we were very 
much afraid of him. 

Now we are using thai fire in the thunder 
- god's eyes for lighting our houses. You 
' know the electric light is the same thing as 
j the lightning. In olden times we had no 
' electric light and no gas, not even lamps. 
Some children might think that we have always 
had lamps. But no, there was no lamp in our 
country in the olden time. Lamps were im- 
ported from the West. You know the word 
lamp is not a Japanese word, it is an English 
word. 



42 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

What do you think we had in those old days 
for lighting our houses? We had a light called 
Andon. We used to put rape seed oil into a 
plate with two or three wicks floating in it, 
light their ends and thus get a dim light in 
our houses. This is an Andon. It was a 
very poor light indeed. We even had to read 
by such a poor light. It was all right while 
we were reading Chinese books only because 
they were written in large characters. But 
when we began to read English books by such 
a poor light it at once spoilt our eyes and the 
result is, as you see, we are obliged to wear 
glasses. 

THE WORSHIP OF THE HEAVENLY BODIES 

If you look back fifty years you find our 
country was just as dark as a house lighted 
by these Andons. 

There was no school in our country which 
could be called a school in the modern sense. 
The only school for the common people was a 
place to learn to write [Tenarai]. There 
were also schools for learning to read Chinese 
books, but these were for the higher classes 
alone. No commoner was allowed to attend. 

Ignorance and darkness reigned all over the 
country. Therefore the people were exceed- 
ingly superstitious and childish. You know 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 43 

superstition and ignorance go hand in hand. 
Every morning we worshipped the rising sun 
with clapping of hands and a prayer, calHng on 
the sun as O Hi Sama — Honoured Fire, or 
O Tento Sama. When the moon flooded the 
earth with her silvery light, we worshipped her 
also as the most beautiful goddess of heaven. 
Children loved the moon and worshipped her. 
Some stars were also worshipped as gods. 
There is a large star on each side of the Milky 
Way to which we used to pray. One was rep- 
resented by a woman sitting at a loom, and the 
other by a man taking care of a cow. The 
woman star was called Tanabata San — the 
weaver, and the man star was called Ushikai 
San — cowherd. They were man and wife. 
The Milky Way which separates them was 
called Amano Kawa (Heavenly Stream). 
Now these two star gods meet only once a 
year, on a certain summer day, and if on that 
day unfortunately it rains and the heavenly 
stream is swollen so they can not meet, they 
must wait until the next summer. As it is 
a great pity for these star gods not to meet 
even once a year, it is the duty of men living 
on earth to help them out by celebrating their 
festival and so preventing the flooding of the 
heatenly stream. So we used to have a great 
festival on that day. Then we were taught 



M THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

to worship all these heavenly bodies as 
gods. 

You who go to school now all study astron- 
omy, and those who have studied astronomy 
know what these heavenly bodies are. You 
need not be told that they are not gods. 
Everybody knows that nowadays. But when I 
was a child we knew nothing of astronomy; 
we were not taught that science in our old 
Chinese schools; we were taught only the 
Chinese classics and histories, that is all. No 
astronomy, no physics, no chemistry, no, not 
a bit of modern science. So we were perfectly 
ignorant about the phenomena of the natural 
world. If you look at the full moon you see 
shady spots on its surface. When we children 
asked our old folks, " What are those shady 
spots on the face of the beautiful moon?", 
they said, " Oh, that is a rabbit living in the 
moon." In old books you find a picture of 
the moon in which a rabbit is represented 
pounding a mortar with pestles. 

All sorts of such funny things we were 
taught about the heavenly bodies. We were 
taught to worship not only these heavenly 
bodies but also still baser objects. 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 45 

THE FOX GOD AND OTHERS 

We worshipped foxes and badgers, snakes 
and centipedes. We worshipped the fox, call- 
ing him Inari — Sama. Of course, Inari 
means the god of rice, and learned people say- 
that it is not a fox but a representation of the 
god of the rice crop — so important to our 
country. But common people could not under- 
stand such a fine distinction, and they simply 
worshipped the fox as god of rice. If we saw 
a small fox we did not care much about him; 
but when a big old fox appeared, people began 
to say : " There comes the Fox God. We must 
offer him Abura age [fried bean curd], and 
Adzuki meshi [rice cooked with red beans], i 
both of which foxes are very fond of. So 
they would bring these offerings to the den of 
the fox and leave them at the entrance. The 
fox might come out during the night and have 
a good time feasting on these offerings. I 
know that one of my friends even built 
a small hut near the fox's den and slept there 
during the night to keep company with the 
fox god. 

In the same way people worshipped badgers, 
snakes, centipedes, whenever big ones ap- 
peared. These, you know, are mere beasts 
and worms. But we were so ignorant and 



46 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

superstitious tKat we stooped to jvorship even 
these base creatures. 

Whenever an unusually fine tree was found 
in the forest people used to say that that tree 
had a spirit in it, just as men have spirits in 
them. Then they decorated the tree by put- 
ting the sacred straw rope around it and wor- 
shipped it as a god of big trees. There was 
even an old story that the spirit of a certain 
big willow tl'ee became a beautiful woman and 
married a very honest and good man of the 
town. 

When any peculiarly formed rocks were 
found in the mountains they were also bound 
with the sacred rope and worshipped as gods. 
, Anything and everything which looked a 
little strange and uncommon was soon made 
into a god. I was told that in some places 
people even worshipped cows and horses. 

PRESENT-DAY SUPERSTITION 

Such superstition is not confined however to 
old-time Japan. Even at this present time you 
see like superstitions prevailing all over the 
country, and perhaps even worse than the old 
ones. 

You all know what kind of a man Ishikawa 
Goyemon was [the famous Japanese robber]. 
But now even he is worshipped by many people 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 47 

as a god. I wonder what kind of a god such 
a man can be. 

At the grave of Nedzumi Kozo [a famous 
pickpocket] it is said that incense is always 
found burning. Who offers that incense? 
Why, all the pickpockets of the city of Tokyo 
burn incense there. He is the god of the pick- 
pockets, while Ishikawa Goyemon is the god of 
thieves. When I was travelling in the south- 
ern part of the island of Kyushu one day I 
found in a certain temple a great many flags 
and banners flying. I asked the people of the 
place what kind of a god was in this temple — 
" I see such a lot of flags and banners fl3ang, 
it certainly must be a very famous god." The 
man told me, " It is the god of gamblers." 
All these flags and banners were offered by the 
gamblers from all parts of the country. And 
he said, moreover, "If you have faith in this 
god you will win in all games, whether in 
gambling or stock speculation, or even in 
wrestling and fighting." 

And now, my friends, what do you think 
about these gods? Do you think that there 
are such gods as a god of thieves, a god of 
pickpockets, a god of gamblers? It is fearful 
even to think of such things. It would indeed 
be intolerable if such gods really existed in 
this world. 



48 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

No, no, there can never be such gods in this 
world. 

How can foxes and badgers, snakes and 
centipedes, trees and rocks be gods? 

How can the sun, moon and stars be gods? 

No intelHgent person at the present time be- 
lieves in such things as these. 

But alas ! in our country, even in this present 
day, there are hundreds of thousands who still 
believe in these false gods. Why? Because 
they are ignorant and untaught, and can not 
see the real nature of these so-called gods. It 
is mere superstition. Some of our people are 
yet very superstitious. 

THE AMALGAMATION OF TEMPLES AND 
SHRINES 

Superstition has increased immensely the 
number of gods. So much so that at the pres- 
ent time our government is rather troubled as 
to how to dispose of these innumerable false 
gods. 

Of course, the government cannot tell the 
people in plain words that what they are now 
worshipping are all false gods, and therefore 
that they had better throw them away. No, 
the government cannot issue such orders. In 
place of that our government has given private 
instructions to the people in regard to the 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 49 

amalgamation of temples. According to these 
instructions many towns and villages have 
begun the amalgamation of their temples, and 
are thus reducing their number to a very few/ 

In one place there were over seventy temples 
and shrines. But now the people have reduced 
the number to four. 

Poor gods! Those formerly living in big 
temples by themselves are now crowded into 
small box-like shrines, placed in rows of ten 
or twenty, just like the poor people's tenement 
houses in the new temple grounds. I asked a 
villager why they showed such unkindness to 
these poor gods they had been worshipping for 
so many years. " Oh," he said, " the cost of 
living is so high nowadays it is too great a 
burden for the poor villagers to support so 
many temples. Though it may be inconvenient 
and uncomfortable for these gods to live so 
crowded together, yet for the sake of the 
people we put them together in the new temple 
ground." 

Well, it may be quite convenient for the vil- 
lagers, but how about these poor gods? 

Do you think that they are satisfied with 
such treatment by the villagers? Of course 
the villagers have not received permission from 
their gods to carry out such an amalgamation. 
They have done it without any consultation or 



50 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

conference with the gods themselves. If these 
gods are really living gods do you think they 
v^ill be contented with such treatment by the 
villagers? You know our homes are our 
castles. It is the duty of every man to defend 
his castle. If any one should break into your 
house and carry you away without your con- 
sent and put you into a miserable hut, would 
you submit to such insolence without resist- 
ance? Oh, no, you would fight such an one 
with all your might. Now as these gods did 
not fight the insolent villagers we must con- 
clude that they are not living gods. They 
are the work of human hands, the result of 
superstition. 

THE GOD-MAKING BUSINESS 

In the old days of our childhood we used to 
boast of our country having so many gods. 
Perhaps there may not be another country 
on this whole earth which has eight million 
gods of its own. Ours is really the land of 
gods. But we boasted of this foolish thing 
because in those days we did not yet know 
anything of the other countries of the world. 
Since we have come to know other countries 
our boasting is in vain. Look at the other 
nations. How numerous are their gods? In- 
deed, the nations of Europe and America have 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 51 

only one God to worship, because they are 
Christian countries. Christians, as I told you 
in the beginning, worship only one God. But 
look at China, India and all these savage na- 
tions of Africa. How numerous are their 
gods? India has the greatest number of gods 
of any nation in the world. The present popu- 
lation of India is said to be three hundred and 
fifteen millions. But if you ask an Indian how 
many gods he has in his country he would tell 
you three hundred and thirty million gods. 
That is, more than one god to each man. If 
a nation could boast of having many gods I 
think India would be the proudest nation of 
the whole world. Our eight million gods can 
not compete with their three hundred million 
gods. And why have they so many gods? 
Hov7 could they get them? Because Indians 
themselves make their own gods. If people 
begin to make their own gods there will be no 
end of god-making. If each of three hundred 
million people tries to make his own god, you 
can have at once three hundred million gods. 

But I think this god-making business is not 
confined to India. All over the world, in 
heathen countries, people make their own gods. 
They carve various figures out of wood, stone 
and metal, and overlay them with gold and 
silver, and kneel down before them and wor- 



52 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

ship them. Yes, this god-making is a very 
simple process indeed. 

We have asked such idol-worshippers often : 
" How can these stone or wooden images be 
gods? Are they not of the same kind of wood 
which you burn in your stoves, or of the same 
kind of metal and stone with which you build 
your houses? Are they not all the workman- 
ship of carpenters or stone masons?" "Oh, 
yes,*' they say, " they were originally. But 
now they have the spirits of gods put into 
them, so they are gods and we must worship 
them." 

" But how," we ask, " did these spirits of 
gods get into these figures, or who put them 
there?" 

" The priests did," they say. 

" All right, but who are these priests ? Are 
they not like other men, weak human beings? 
Are the gods inferior to men? Can spirits of 
gods be put into anything of stone or wood by 
the mere will of a human being? " 

Nonsense! even to think of such a thing. 
But all these idol gods are made in this way, 
and are then worshipped by the very men who 
made them. Everywhere people are practising 
such nonsense in god-making. And the won- 
der is that they really believe in their man- 
made gods. 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 53 

THE SAVAGE MAN AND HIS STICK-GOD 

If you go to savage countries you will find 
more amusing things than god-making. For 
instance, when some men go out hunting and 
find a stick on the road they pick it up, stand 
it up by the roadside, kneel down and offer 
prayers. They earnestly pray for good luck 
in finding game. If they are fortunate enough 
to get game that day, on their return they bow 
down to their stick-god and offer him the best 
portion of the meat as a thank-offering. But 
if they do not get the game they prayed for 
they become angry and lay the entire blame 
upon the stick-god to whom they offered 
prayers in the morning. When they see the 
stick still standing there they rush at it and 
kick it over and trample it, even binding it with 
ropes and putting it in the river, saying they 
have punished their gods for not answering 
their prayers. 

What an amazing thing it is ! Man punish- 
ing his god for not answering his prayer ! 

But if you think it over you can see the 
reason at once. This stick-god is made by the 
man himself, it is his creature. To give him 
good luck he has created this god and so he 
has the power to punish the god. God here 
is the creature instead of the creator. Such 



54i THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

a god is like the hunter's dog; if he obeys his 
master and does his work well he will be 
praised and rewarded. But if he does not 
do it, of course he will be punished and 
beaten. 

We were laughing at the foolishness of these 
savage people, and saying how ridiculous it is 
for a man to pray to his own stick. But on 
reflection I say : " No." We can not laugh at 
these people because we ourselves have done 
the same thing. I do not know whether you 
have ever done such things or not, but I have 
quite often. I mean when I was young. Sup- 
pose I was travelling in an unfamiliar place 
and came to a crossroad and was puzzled 
which way to take, I would first try to find out 
by asking some one who knew the road. But 
finding no one, I would look for a guide-post. 
If there was no such post, what did I do? I 
used to take a cane if I happened to have one, 
or find a stick on the road, and stand it up 
at the crossing; then shutting my eyes I let 
the stick fall, and if I found it on the right 
I said the gods called me to take the turn to 
the right and I followed it. If I had neither 
cane nor stick, I held out my left hand and 
spit upon it, and struck it with two fingers of 
the right hand, believing the gods called me to 
go in the direction in which the spittle flew. 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 66 

Thus you see I made a stick- or even a spittle- 
god. 

Now, my friends, where is the difference 
between the stick-god of the savage man and 
my spittle-god ? No difference, not a bit. 

Everywhere ignorance breeds superstition. 
If you read our old books you will find many 
stories of man's beating and punishing his 
gods for not answering his prayers. Human 
nature works in the same manner everywhere. 
All over the world uncivilized peoples make 
their own gods. And these gods are nothing 
but the reflections of their hearts. So origi- 
nated all sorts of gods, good, bad, high, low, 
strong, weak, merciful, cruel, and so on. As 
there are thieves, pickpockets and gamblers in 
this world so came the gods of thieves, pick- 
pockets and gamblers. And as there are many 
bad women in the world, so came the god of 
licentiousness. 

DARKNESS AND IGNORANCE 

This pitiable state of mind of uncivilized 
peoples is like the darkness of the night. You 
know, many people believe ghosts appear in the 
night-time but never in daylight. During the 
night they imagine that all sorts of dreadful 
creatures roam about. 

Children are especially afraid to go out in 



56 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

the dark, fearing they may encounter those 
dreadful creatures of the night. Perhaps yon- 
der in a dark corner Black Bozu [apparitions 
having their heads shaven Hke Buddhist 
priests] might be glaring at them. Or, under 
that big v^illow tree, white ghosts might be 
standing, pale-faced, long-haired, v^ith their 
hands in front of them. And the childish 
mind imagines these frightful creatures make 
their appearance only during the night; when 
the dawn approaches they all retreat to their 
hiding-places, and thei world is once more 
cleared and safe. 

Not only they, but even the stars of the 
night which twinkle so merrily in the heavens, 
will all vanish away before the brightness of 
the morning sun. 

Just so, while the country is uncivilized and 
ignorance reigns among the people, they be- 
lieve in all sorts of false gods which swarm in 
the imaginations of all ignorant people. But 
when once the sun of enlightenment rises on 
the horizon of the childish mind, all these ap- 
paritions will disappear, and people will begin 
to worship only the one true God of the uni- 
verse. 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 57 

ONE SUN — ONE GOD 

You know that well-known saying, " There 
is only one sun in heaven and not two suns, 
and there is but one Lord in the land and not 
two Lords." 

Truly, there is but one sun in heaven that ^^ 
shines upon this earth and not two. No man 
would say there is a Japanese sun and an 
American sun — the Japanese sun shines only 
upon Japan and the American sun shines only 
upon America. Is there one among us so fool- 
ish as to say or to think that, although our sun 
is round, there may be other countries where 
suns are triangular ? 

No, no, the sun which shines upon the whole 
earth is one and the same sun. 

Now seeing that even the material sun which 
lights the whole world is one and not many, 
can you still say that our spiritual sun, the God 
of the whole world, is many rather than one? 

There are many people in Japan even now 
who say that the different countries of the 
world were created by different sets of gods, 
and are ruled and protected by their respective 
gods. They say Japan was created by the gods 
of the Japanese, and is ruled over and pro- 
tected by them alone. So we Japanese need 
not worship any other gods but our own. It 



58 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

is right for people of other countries to believe 
in their own gods, but for us Japanese to be- 
lieve in the other gods of the world and for- 
sake our own gods, the gods of our ancestors 
— would be unprofitable to our country and 
unfilial to our ancestors. 

This is a very common saying among many 
Japanese who do not understand what Chris- 
tianity is. They still believe that the different 
countries of the world were created by and 
are ruled over and protected by different sets 
of gods. And in the opinion of many it is the 
duty of the people of each country to reverence 
their own gods and not those of any other 
country. 

It is quite natural for ignorant people to 
think so. But do you think that in the light 
of the present-day civilization such an un- 
reasonable belief can be maintained ? 

ALL MEN ARE SIMILAR 

Look, for example, at the form of the 
human body. Can you imagine that the dif- 
ferent races of the world were created by dif- 
ferent sets of gods? Do you think that the 
different sets of gods would have made the 
people of this world so nearly alike in form as 
they are? 

The world population is now approximately 



,GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 59 

seventeen hundred millions. Take, then, the 
seventeen hundred million human beings and 
examine the construction of their bodily 
organs. Do you think you can find any differ- 
ence among them ? No, not in the least. The 
construction of the human body is exactly the 
same all over the world. Of course there is a 
difference in colour among the different races of 
people; some are white, some are black, some 
are yellow and some are red; but this differ- 
ence in the colour of the skin is of minor im- 
portance and is often due to climatic conditions. 
Moreover, we find a difference of colour not 
only among the different races, but even among 
people of the same race. Tonight, I believe, 
we have here a representative gathering of the 
people of this city. And yet as I look at the 
audience from the platform I see a marked 
difference in colour among you. I see many 
beautifully white faces among you as white 
as the white races of the world. But I must 
say, though I am sorry to say it, that among 
you I see also faces as dark as the brown races 
of the world. 

Now if among our own people we find such 
a difference in colour it is quite natural that we 
should find a great difference in colour among 
|;he different races of the world. 

But what I am here contending for cis to the 



60 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

sameness of the human body is not its colour 
but its construction. For example, in travel- 
ling all over the world can you find any three- 
eyed or three-legged people among the races 
of the world? Can you find any human race 
which has six fingers or six toes ? In one place 
where I asked this question one of my audi- 
ence cried out, " Oh, yes, there are six-fingered 
persons in the world." Then I said, " My 
friend, where did you find such a person? 
Please tell me the place." 

He answered, " Oh, yes, deformed persons 
have sometimes six fingers." 

Sure, but they are deformed, not ordinary 
men. Among ordinary men you do not find 
six-fingered persons. Everywhere in this 
world man has only two eyes, two hands, two 
legs and ten fingers. Not only are these 
external organs the same in every man but 
all of the internal organs are the same. The 
lungs spread out on both sides of the chest 
. like two branches of a tree, and the heart 
hangs on the left side. Nobody has his heart 
i hanging on the backbone. Stomach and 
' bowels, kidneys and liver, are in exactly the 
same position. So all human beings are of the 
same form, just as all the rice crackers cut out 
by the same cutter are the same, although there 
may be a difference in colour, according to the 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 61 

degree of baking. Some are baked too much 
and become black as Africans. Some are not 
quite done and are pale as the white races. 
While some are baked just enough and are 
coloured like the yellow people. But all these 
differences are only in colour, not in form of 
construction. 

And now, if there are many gods in this 
world, as some people say, each trying to make 
their own people, do you think that they would 
make them so nearly alike? We can not sup- 
pose that the gods of the whole world con- 
vened a congress of gods in the beginning for 
the man-making business, and decided upon 
the form of man by majority of votes. No, 
they would not do such a thing in consultation. 
And if really these different sets of gods each 
made their own people independently, surely 
there would be a great difference in the form 
of men. Suppose you give a similar piece of 
cloth to each of ten women and let them each 
make a dress, entirely independent of each 
other, do you think they would make the same 
kind of a dress? No, impossible. 

GOD IS OUR FATHER 

Now what does this prove ? Why, it proves 
decisively that the god who made the people of 
this world must be one and not many. There 



62 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

can not be more than one creator of the world. 
And this one true God who made the seven- 
teen hundred million people of this world is 
the true and real Father of all mankind. We 
are all His children. We all have our earthly- 
parents and we love and honour them. But 
they have simply given birth to us and not 
made us. There is a great difference between 
giving birth to a child and making a child. 
Man can not give the spirit of life to a child. 
Only God can give the spirit to man. So He 
is the true spiritual Father of us all. 

H any man disobeys his parents and treats 
them unkindly, he will be condemned by his 
fellowmen as unfilial and undutiful. You 
know ingratitude toward one's parents is re- 
garded in our country as a most heinous sin. 
Our obligation toward our parents is said to 
be the highest obligation on this earth, and is 
higher than the highest mountain and deeper 
than the deepest sea. And now if you say that 
our obligation toward our earthly parents is 
higher than the highest mountain of the earth, 
ought we not to say that our obligation toward 
our Heavenly Father is higher than the very 
heavens? Yes, certainly, our ingratitude to- 
ward our Heavenly Father is the greatest sin 
iof all. 

We are indeed the children of God. Here 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 63 

lies the dignity of man as the head of crea- 
tion. 

The true worth of a man does not consist in 
his earthly possessions nor in his human rank. 
Of course these have their place. But having 
or not having them does not make a bit of 
difference in regard to our true dignity as the 
head of creation and our worth as human 
beings. Our true dignity and honour lie in th'e" 
fact that we are created in the image of God, 
thus being the children of the King of the 
Universe. 

Now to believe in this one true God, and to 
obey and love Him as our Father, and to try 
to become children worthy of Him, created in 
His own image, is the gist of the whole teach- 
ing of Christianity. 

If God is our Father then we are all 
brothers and sisters of each other, no matter 
to what race or country or people we belong. 
And if we are really brothers and sisters, why 
should we not love one another and live in 
perfect peace. 

Now, my friends, these two great truths — 
the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of 
Man — are the two foundation stones on which 
the Christian religion is built. Jesus said, 
when He was asked, " Which is the greatest 
commandment of the law?" "Thou shalt 



64* THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and 
with all thy soul, and with all thy mind and 
with all thy strength. This is the great and 
first commandment ; and the second is like unto 
it; thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." 
Do you not see now that, if the entire world 
would believe in the Christian religion and 
obey our Lord's commandments, as given to us 
by Jesus Christ, its condition would be en- 
tirely changed and peace and happiness and 
righteousness and justice would reign all over 
the world? 






*'\f£^C^ 



PART II 
CONCERNING SIN 



WHAT IS SIN? 

NOW we come to the second great point 
of my sermon. The first was on God. 
The second is on sin, which is enmity 
to God. 

Christianity teaches that we all are sinners, 
men, women and children. No human being 
is sinless in this world. " There is none good, 
no not one." When we preach such a doctrine 
to our people some object to it at once, saying: 
"Am I a sinner? What have I done? On 
what evidence do you call me a sinner or a 
criminal? I have done nothing of the kind in 
my life. Why do you call me by such an 
awful name as a sinner or a criminal? It's 
outrageous. These preachers are always say- 
ing sin, sin, sin, just as if they were prison 
officials talking to the convicts. This talking 
about sin is one thing I always disliked in 
Christian preaching and I do hate to hear it. 
They look down upon us from that high pulpit 
as if we were criminals brought before the 
judge. Therefore, I don't like to attend Chris- 



67 



08 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

I have oftentimes offended many persons in 
this way, by telling them they are sinners, be- 
cause they misunderstood the meaning of sin. 
They thought I was charging them with some 
awful crime, and naturally would be offended. 
Even tonight if I should say from this plat- 
form that you are all criminals, thieves, mur- 
derers, and so on, would you not be offended 
at my words? Yes, indeed, you would be of- 
fended, and some of you might jump up here 
and knock me down for saying such dreadful 
things. And I should deserve it if I insulted 
you with such charges. But, please do not 
misunderstand me when I say you are all sin- 
ners. I do not think there are any thieves or 
murderers present in this audience. But what 
is theft and murder? Are they not offences 
against the law of this country? Of course 
there are no such lawbreakers in this congre- 
gation. The lawbreakers do not wear such 
clothing as you and I do ; they wear a prison 
uniform, as you know, and as I do not see any 
such uniforms here I am sure there is not a 
single criminal in this audience tonight. 

But what I am speaking of here is not such 
crimes or offences against our state laws. Of 
course those crimes are included in the general 
designation of sin. But they form a very 
small part of it. 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 69 

Sin in its broad and true sense is an offence 
against the law of God. As every well-gov- 
erned country has laws of its own, so this uni- 
verse has laws of its own. And what Chris- 
tianity teaches as sin is the breaking of the law 
of the universe. An offence against the law of 
a country is different from an offence against 
the law of God. Because God's laws and state 
laws are entirely different. May I tell you the 
difference between these two kinds of laws? 

EGG AND CHICKEN 

Take for example the case of murder. 
What is written in the laws of the state? 

" Whoever kills a man is a murderer." 

But the law of God says, " Whoever hates 
his brother is a murderer." 

Do you not see the great difference between 
these two laws ? 

One refers to the actual killing of a man, 
the other takes the simple hating as murder. 
A great difference indeed ! But, do you know 
why hating men is counted as murder in the 
law of God? I will tell you the reason. Why 
do men kill their fellowmen? Do they kill 
them simply for fun? No, indeed. They 
kill because they hate. Hating comes before 
killing. Do you see that hating is the cause of 
killing? If you hate a man intensely and your 



70 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

feeling oversteps a certain point, then the 
kilHng comes as the result. Thus, you see, 
hatred is the cause and murder is the effect. 
In order to make the point clearer I will give 
an illustration. 

Hatred might be compared to an egg^ while 
murder is the chicken coming out of that Qgg. 
Chickens come out of eggs. But can you see 
the chicken in the Qgg? Do you see any jump- 
ing bird within the round shell of an Qgg? No, 
nothing. H you break an Qgg you can only 
find the yolk and white — that is all, nothing 
more. But if you give that egg to a hen and 
let her sit over it a certain length of time a 
little chick will come out of it. 

When you want chickens to come out of 
eggs you do not put the chick into the egg be- 
forehand, as jugglers do when they bring 
pigeons out from an empty box. To bring out 
chicks from eggs you do not need such tricks. 
Who ever put a chicken into an egg in order to 
bring it out? No one would think of making 
such a foolish attempt. Just lay the egg under 
a hen long enough and the chick will come out 
beautifully and naturally. 

Now, as the result of this reasoning we 
come to the conclusion that from the first there 
must have been a chicken in the egg. Other- 
wise it could not have come out although you 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 71 

may have kept the egg warm ever so long. It 
is an unchangeable law of nature — something 
can not come out of nothing. Certainly there 
was a chicken in the egg from the beginning, 
though we could not see it with our bodily 
eyes. The egg contains within itself all the 
elements required to form the chicken. 

I said that hating is an egg from which the 
bird of murder will hatch out. Try it now by 
setting this egg of hatred — not under a hen but 
in your own heart, and see whether the bird of 
murder will hatch out or not. I do not see any 
birds of murder flying among us tonight; but 
are there not eggs of murder among us ? Have 
you not these eggs in your hearts, which, if 
hatched, will surely bring forth murder ? 

Well then, I will ask you another question. 
Have you never hated any one in your life- 
time? Have you never had any feeling of 
jealousy or envy ? Have you never been angry 
with other people since you were born into 
this world? I am afraid there may be some 
here who have been guilty of such sins this 
very day. I am afraid there may be some 
young people here who have been fighting or 
knocking down other fellows — since this very 
morning. 

Perhaps some women have said, " Oh, yes, 
men might have such dreadful things as 



72 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

the eggs of murder in their hearts, but we 
women do not shelter such things in our 
hearts." 

But, ladies, I am sorry to say you also have 
such eggs and germs of sin in your hearts. I 
am afraid that there may be more of these 
germs and eggs of evil in women's hearts than 
in men's hearts. 

Do you not know it is always women who 
do Mshinotokimairi? That is, who go at mid- 
night with burning candles upon their heads to 
the shrine of certain gods, praying to them to 
kill those people whom they hate? Is it not 
our old mothers-in-law who treat young brides 
so unkindly, even cruelly ? Is it not a fact that 
we find unkind natures more often among 
women than among men? I am afraid these 
eggs are more plentiful in women's hearts than 
in men's. 

But not women alone, men and women all 
have these eggs and germs of evil, keep them 
warm a little while, and the evil birds will fly 
out suddenly from their hearts. 

I confess I also have these eggs. But mine 
have been kept in my heart only as eggs, with- 
out being hatched, because I have not yet had 
occasion to keep them warm. I have not yet 
had such hard experiences in my own life as to 
hatch these eggs. If I had had such experi- 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 73 

ences perhaps from my own heart the birds of 
hate would have flown out before this. I say 
therefore that nothing on earth is so danger- 
ous as the secret evil thoughts of the human 
heart. 

INSUFFICIENCY OF THE STATE LAW 

In the human heart we find not only eggs 
of murder but hundreds of other kinds of eggs 
— eggs of stealing, eggs of adultery, etc. Why 
do men steal ? Do they steal for fun ? They 
steal because they covet other people's prop- 
erty. If they did not covet they would not 
steal. Therefore, coveting is an Ggg of steal- 
ing. Don't you see it ? You see how plenteous 
are the eggs of stealing among us. 

The state law says, " One who violates a 
woman should be condemned as guilty of adul- 
tery." But God's law says, " One who har- 
bours an impure thought toward a woman 
should be condemned as guilty of adultery." 
The law looks at the outward conduct — the 
bird, while God looks at the inner thought — ■ 
the egg. 

Policemen are bird-catchers. What do you 
think policemen are doing day and night? Are 
they not trying to catch these birds of evil? 
When a thief or a murderer is at large the 
people call for the police to go after him and 



74 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

catch him. But it is not an easy thing to 
catch a bird. They have wings, you know. I 
can not catch even a sparrow. If I run after 
him he will fly away. It must be very hard 
too for the police to catch these other birds. 
Murderers and robbers are not easy to catch. 
Sometimes a policeman has to fight with them 
at the risk of his life. But how is it that al- 
though our policemen work hard and faith- 
fully to catch these birds, the number of thieves 
and other criminals is not decreasing, but 
rather increasing? 

You know our poem about the impossibility 
of exterminating the criminals of the country 
— "Though the sands of the seashore might 
some day be exhausted, yet the seeds of thieves 
and robbers will never be exhausted." Why is 
this ? Because though the police might kill the 
birds they can never smash the eggs ; and while 
they are trying to kill one bird hundreds of 
eggs are being laid and birds are constantly 
being hatched, which the police can not pre- 
vent. 

If I should take somebody's watch the police 
will at once arrest me as a thief, because the 
bird has been hatched and flown out of its tgg. 
But if instead of taking the watch I am simply 
coveting that of another man, and so laying 
eggs of stealing, as long as these criminal de- 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 75 

sires lie in my heart simply as eggs no police- 
man can lay his hands upon me. 

If I should kill a man of course I would be 
arrested at once as a murderer. But as long 
as I am simply harbouring hatred and evil 
intentions toward another person, and not ac- 
tually committing murder, though ten thou- 
sand police might surround me they could do 
nothing. No, the state laws can never smash 
a single egg. They are perfectly powerless 
against these eggs and germs of evil. 

Now I say that although you might make 
your state laws ever so strict and ever so per- 
fect yet you can never clear the country of 
these criminals by state laws alone. Because 
they can not smash the eggs. Then, by what 
law can we smash these eggs? Only by the 
law of God. State laws can catch the bird — 
sometimes, but God's law alone can smash the 
eggs. 

Now, my friends, Christianity teaches this 
law of God. It is the aim of the Christian 
religion to smash all these evil eggs, for if 
you smash the eggs then no more evil birds 
can be hatched. If the birds are hatched out, 
of course the state law must catch them; but 
if eggs of evil are laid in the human heart 
Christianity must crush them by the law of 
God. So you see these two kinds of laws 



76 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

must work together to clear the country of all 
these sins and crimes. 

Viewing sin from this standpoint I believe I 
have convinced you that sin is universal in this 
world. I do not think any one can say now, 
" I am not a sinner,'* or " I have no such eggs 
of sin in my heart," or " I am perfectly free 
from all such imperfections." 

But I say every man is a sinner because he 
harbours these eggs or germs of evil in his 
mind. I am speaking about sin with reserve. 
If I were to go on and speak about sin more 
freely I would say that we have not the eggs 
only, but that we have the birds too. Our 
country is full of these birds. Can't you see 
them — the dreadful birds of adultery, theft, 
murder, etc., flying all over the country? How 
numerous they are ! 

THE SIN OF ADULTERY 

Let me mention a few of the conspicuous 
ones flying around us at the present time. I 
will take first the sin of adultery. What about 
this sin? Do men simply look at women with 
evil and impure desires? Is that the extent 
of the sin of adultery in this country? Look 
at these impure women who are called prosti- 
tutes, dancing girls and waitresses. Who are 
they? What are they doing? I am ashamed 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 77 

even to speak of them in such a respectable 
audience as this; but I can not help it. I must 
say they are women who are selling their 
virtue. They are the very instruments of the 
sin of adultery. They are the ones who are 
defiling our whole community. They are 
dragging down our young people into the 
depths of impurity. They are the very ones 
who are breaking the hearts of mothers and 
wives and destroying the happiness and sacred- 
ness of homes all over our country. No plague 
is so pernicious and destructive as the plague 
of prostitution, which is not only defiling our 
young people but the whole community, old 
and young, high and low, educated and unedu- 
cated. What social gathering or what social 
dinners are there in this country where these 
women are not invited and made to sing and 
dance and do all kinds of improper entertain- 
ment? And you know because of the presence 
of these impure women our respected and hon- 
oured ladies can not take part in such social 
gatherings. If men who are in high places do 
such things how can the young people help 
imitating them? Fathers set bad examples to 
their sons by freely mingling with these bad 
women. 

Many men keep these women as concubines, 
not only secretly, but sometimes openly and 



78 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

brazenly in their own homes, under the same 
roof with their wives and children. All the 
sacredness of our homes and the purity of 
sexual relations are being destroyed by the 
presence of these evil women in the country. 
I have heard that at the present time there are 
several hundred thousand of these women in 
our country of Japan and it is said the number 
is increasing. I feel that it is high time for 
the patriots of this land who have the welfare 
of this nation at heart, to stand up and stem 
this tide of iniquity. It is the duty of our 
statesmen and politicians who care for the real 
and true honour and prosperity of this nation 
to bestir themselves and put an end to such 
disgraceful and wicked institutions. 

But I appeal especially to our women to 
rouse themselves and start a crusade against 
these wretched brothels. It lies in their hands 
and in their power to stop these wicked prac- 
tices, if they are sufficiently awakened to their 
duty and their responsibility. 

I know that our Y.W.C.A. and W.C.T.U. 
and the Purity Society are all doing very good 
work. We are very grateful for their excel- 
lent service. But, if I may express my opinion 
a little more freely, I am not yet satisfied with 
them. I don't think they are yet determined 
enough to accomplish their end. They are not 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 79 

yet earnest enough to stake their lives upon the 
accomplishment of this great work for the 
purification of society. 

Now, my friends, unless the social relations 
of our countrymen and countrywomen are 
thoroughly cleansed it is impossible to have a 
clean nation. We all know that a nation is 
founded upon its homes, and homes are 
founded upon the relation of husbands and 
wives. If this relation is defiled, as at the 
present time, how can you expect to have clean 
homes? If you have not clean homes, how can 
you raise clean children? If you can not bring 
up clean children how can you expect to have 
a clean and wholesome people ? And without a 
clean and virtuous people how can you have a 
clean and great nation? 

THE SIN OF STEALING 

How about stealing? Do you call those only 
thieves who break into houses in the stillness 
of the night and carry off money or jewelry 
or clothing? Yes, they are thieves, but they 
are not the only thieves. They might be called 
petty thieves. Big thieves do not act in such 
an awkward manner. They do it in a very 
fine style — often dressed in a swallow-tailed 
coat and silk hat, with decorations on their 



80 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

breasts — and they steal in the broad light of 
day. 

Do you not know that we have had such 
cases of robbery in the House of Commons 
as well as among the high government of- 
ficials? Have we not had such cases also 
among the officers of banks and corporations? 
And are not some of them still confined in the 
state prison? Worst of all, we have heard of 
such cases of robbery even among the shaven- 
headed priests of certain religious orders. 

When I was travelling in the southern sec- 
tion of the country I was astonished to hear 
it reported that some three hundred students 
of a government middle school had banded 
themselves together and had stolen $1,750 
worth of books from a bookstore in the town 
where this school is situated. Think of it — 
students of a middle school, whom we expect 
to be the very backbone of our nation, have 
turned out to be thieves. A dreadful thing in- 
deed. But I mention only the cases reported 
in the newspapers. If all cases of robbery 
among our people were reported in these news- 
papers I doubt if the papers would have space 
enough to print them. 

The country is full of thieves. In the state 
prisons at the present time I hear there are 
seventy thousand thieves in prison garb. But 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 81 

outside of the prisons there are many hun- 
dreds of thousands of a worse kind of thieves, 
wearing ordinary clothes. Yes, the big birds 
of this kind are flying all over the country. 

THE SIN OF MURDER 

What, then, about the sin of murder? Shall 
we count as murderers only those who take 
away a man's life by the sword or the gun? 
Are there not other ways of killing besides 
that? Yes, there are. There are a thousand 
ways of committing murder. 

I will tell you of one — a most heinous way 
of murder, which is very little noticed by the 
public. A profligate son may squander his 
father's money, spending it on drinking and 
bad women, and finally using up all his fam- 
ily's property and destroying his own health 
and honour, thus forfeiting the respect of so- 
ciety, he finally sinks into the depths of misery 
and dishonour. Now, how do you suppose his 
parents feel about this? Why, the father's 
hair turns grey early, and the mother has un- 
timely wrinkles in her face. What do these 
changes signify? Simply that these parents' 
lives have been shortened by the wicked con- 
duct of their unfilial son, perhaps shortened 
by five or ten years. They may go down to 
their graves so many years earlier than they 



82 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

would have gone but for this ungrateful son. 
God might have given them seventy years to 
live on this earth, yet they have been cut off 
at sixty-five. Is not the sending of his parents 
so much earlier to their graves by his wicked 
conduct as bad as putting an end to their lives 
with his own hand ? Yes, indeed ! It is a case 
of parricide. He has murdered his father and 
mother at the age of sixty-five. 

And I am sorry to say that there are many 
cases of this kind of parricide in our country. 
How many fathers and mothers are going 
down to an early grave broken-hearted on ac- 
count of the misconduct of their children? 
Have you not such cases in your own town and 
village? You know, all our children are 
taught in school that being filial to their 
parents is the first duty of man. So they must 
all know that. But, alas ! All school teaching 
enters the one ear and out the other. As soon 
as school days are over most of its teaching is 
forgotten. Our schools fail to produce a last- 
ing effect with their ethical teaching. 

PARTIALITY OF THE HEATHEN MORAL 
TEACHINGS 

I must say that while I am condemning the 
misconduct of our children toward their 
parents in such severe terms, at the same time 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 83 

I must not forget the other side of the case 
— the misconduct of the parents toward the 
children. I must not blame the children only 
and leave out the parents entirely. I must not 
be partial. 

I think on this point of the relations be- 
tween parents and children our moral teach- 
ings are very partial and one-sided, and there- 
fore very defective. While they lay great 
stress on the duty of children toward their 
parents, they do not lay sufficient stress on the 
duty of parents toward their children. They 
condemn the least infraction of the obligation 
of the children, but they overlook any failure 
on the part of the parents. 

If there are cases of parricide among our 
children, there are also grievous cases of in- 
fanticide among parents. Parents murdering 
their children. Are there not cases of abor- 
tion, and even of suffocation of newborn 
babes? Are these not acts of murder? Yes, 
they are. Mothers and fathers are doing these 
things. Of course those who commit such 
awful crimes are guilty of infanticide and are 
liable to be punished by the law of the state. 

There are other cases of child-murder 
which, though not liable to punishment under 
the state law, are yet very wicked. I refer to 
the selling of girls by their parents to houses 



84 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

of ill-fame. Of course it is not legal to sell 
these girls, but many girls are sent to those 
bad houses for the sake of the money their 
parents will receive. 

We have a familiar saying that girls who are 
sold to these houses are thrown into a dirty^ 
ditch from which they can never come back 
clean. They become outcasts of society. Most 
of them contract venereal diseases and soon 
die. Their lives are thus shortened by enter- 
ing these awful places. Yes, such places are 
hell for these poor girls. They are doomed for 
life. And you see their own parents, fathers 
and mothers, having thrown their girls into 
this filthy ditch, drink and gamble with the 
money received from the sale of their chil- 
dren. Don't you think that these wicked men 
and women really murder their unfortunate 
daughters? Yes, they do. 

Do you think that these parents have still a 
fatherly and motherly feeling for their chil- 
dren whom they treat thus ? Can you still call 
them by the name of parents? I can not. 
They have no right to such an honourable title 
as that of parents. I would rather call them 
devils, feasting upon the very flesh and blood 
of these unfortunate human creatures. 

I am ashamed to say that our public does 
not take much notice of the wicked conduct of 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 85 

these parents, and our government still allows 
such heinous crimes. Not only that, but even 
religious and moral teachers (I mean heathen 
priests and so-called moral teachers) side with 
these parents and teach that it is the filial duty 
of these daughters to obey their parents' will 
and fulfil their wishes. 

MURDER AND INTEMPERANCE 

I must mention one more kind of murder, 
which is by drink. Intoxicating drinks do de- 
stroy human lives. Are not drunkards break- 
ing the hearts of their wives, their mothers 
and their children? Yes, they are. They are 
bringing their dearest ones to untimely 
graves. Yes, they are murdering them. Not 
only their nearest and dearest, but themselves. 
How many drunkards are going down to early 
graves? They are committing suicide. Then 
how dreadful is the business of manufacturing 
and selling this destroyer of life, and devastat- 
ing the whole country with such poisons. 

I always look upon drink as my deadly 
enemy, because it killed my father. He died 
quite young because of drink. Therefore in- 
toxicating drink is my deadly enemy with 
whom I can not bear to live under the same 
heaven. I am determined to take revenge on 
my father's murderer. 



86 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

Perhaps even in this audience there may be 
some one who can say with me — Drink was 
my father's murderer — or my husband's mur- 
derer. In one place when I said this a woman 
cried out : " Oh, yes, drink is my son's mur- 
derer. My son died of that awful poison." 

I know one case of drink killing thirty-six 
persons at one stroke. Perhaps you remember 
the dreadful news reported through the news- 
papers a few years ago. In one of the north- 
ern railroad stations the assistant station 
master killed thirty-six passengers because of 
drink. He got drunk while he was on duty 
and entirely forgot the coming of a special 
train, so two trains collided, resulting in the 
instant death of thirty-six passengers. 

Drink not only destroys human life but also 
destroys homes and property, and so devastates 
the whole country. It is indeed the most 
dreadful enemy of mankind. The world must 
get rid of it. I hope our temperance societies 
will bestir themselves now and do their utmost 
toward destroying this enemy of mankind. I 
know they are doing good work, but not 
enough. Look at America. What a wonder- 
ful thing those American temperance societies 
have done. Think of it. A nation of one 
hundred million people throwing away intoxi- 
cating liquors entirely and becoming dry all 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 87 

over the country! Its effect upon the health, 
weahh and morals of the people is inestimable. 

You know in our country more than one- 
tenth of the whole rice crop is turned into in- 
toxicating drinks. In these days of the 
scarcity of rice, when people are complaining 
of the lack of food, one-tenth of the principal 
food of the people is taken away from them 
for the purpose of brewing poisonous liquors. 
What a shameful thing this is to our country. 

Now you see there are not only eggs of sin 
in the hearts of men, but big birds flying in 
the air all over the country. The world at 
present is full of sin. We find sins right and 
left all over the world. Every man is full of 
sin from head to foot. No, there is no sin- 
less man on the whole earth, not even one. 

THE FRONT GATE OF CHRISTIANITY 

But here, some one may object, " Oh, see 
here, that preacher, standing on that high plat- 
form and looking down upon us, is upbraiding 
us as miserable sinners, and is perhaps think- 
ing of himself as a good man." ^ 

No, my friends, I am not upbraiding you 
alone as being miserable sinners. I know I am 
also a miserable sinner. Perhaps I am the 
chief of sinners. Don't you know that we 
Christians do not hold a mirror facing toward 



88 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

others but toward ourselves? If you should 
hold a mirror facing toward other people you 
can see their faces reflected in the mirror and 
then you are tempted to make comments upon 
them, saying, " That man's face is a little too 
long," and "This man's face is a little too 
round," and so on. But if you hold up your 
mirror with its face toward yourself alone 
then you can see your own face reflected in the 
mirror. I confess now that before I became a 
Christian I thought I was a good man, per- 
haps better than the most of my fellowmen. I 
had not yet violated any of the laws of our 
country. I had not done injustice to any man. 
I had not defrauded any person. I had not 
been disobedient to my parents. I had brought 
up my children in decency and order. In fact 
I had done nothing yet worthy of condemna- 
tion. So I thought I was a good man. 

But when I became a Christian and held 
the mirror right before my face, and saw my 
own figure reflected in it, from head to foot, 
then I said, " Oh, what a wretched sinner I 
am ! " I have seen sins of all kinds reflected 
from my own life in that mirror, eggs and 
birds, of which I was not at all conscious be- 
fore. Yes, I found myself to be the greatest 
of all sinners. 

Now, my friends, tonight I am not blaming 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 89 

you for anything. I am not upbraiding you at 
all. I can not do that. Because I do not know 
you personally. I do not know your past his- 
tory nor your present condition. I only see 
your faces now for the first time. How can 
I reprove you? No, no, I do not try to do 
anything of that kind tonight. But this one 
thing I beg you to do— to take up this mirror 
of God and turn it toward your own face and 
see what kind of men you are. Do you think 
that you will find the figures of saints, or 
angels of heaven reflected in that mirror? 

No, my friends, I am afraid you will find 
instead the figures of black devils — the great- 
est of sinners. Then you will surely cry out, 
" Oh, wretched man that I am ! Who shall de- 
liver me from the body of this death." 

I tell you this finding out of your own sins, 
and crying out for the way of salvation from 
them, is indeed the front gate to the religion 
of Christ. If you are at all truly desirous of 
entering into this religion of Christ you must 
come to the front gate. You must not climb 
over the fence or break through the hedge to 
enter into this religion. There are many 
among our own countr3/men who are trying to 
enter the Christian religion through these 
fences and hedges, saying, " Oh, yes, Chris- 
tianity is good for the country, for the people, 



90 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

for the family, for the home, for the wives 
and the children, so I will accept this religion 
as my own.*' 

Very well, it is all true that Christianity is 
good for the country and the people; but you 
can never enter into that religion by such a 
roundabout way of belief. Yes, your country, 
your family, your wives and your children may 
enter into the Christian religion if you en- 
courage them to do so, because it is good for 
them to do it ; but you yourself can never enter 
into that religion by such a superficial belief. 
If you really wish to enter into the Kingdom 
of God yourself you must come to its front 
gate first — that is acknowledgement of and re- 
pentance for your own sins. Without this you 
can never enter the kingdom of God. 

WHY IS SIN DREADFUL? 

I take it for granted now that you are con- 
vinced of your sins. Now you can see and 
understand how all men without exception are 
sinners. But some one may say at this point 
— " All right, I am convinced now that I am a 
sinner. I know that every man on earth is 
also a sinner. What, then, does it matter to 
us though we are all the blackest of sinners? 
Why should we be so much afraid of sin? 
Why is sin such a dreadful thing? I don't see 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 91 

anything dreadful. Is not sin simply a mis- 
deed or shortcoming, or weakness of human 
nature ? Is it not all right, even after commit- 
ting sin, if we are sorry for our misconduct 
and try to correct it and reform our char- 
acters ? Is it not the teaching of our old sages 
that * If a man commit sin he must at once cor- 
rect it without hesitation/ and that is all which 
is required of us and no need of bothering our- 
selves any further? If we only correct our 
misdeeds and reform our characters all the 
sins we have committed will be wiped out for- 
ever, just like an ink spot from the face of a 
man, or a dark film from the face of a mirror." 

But no, my friends, sin is not such a light 
thing. Sin is not like an ink spot or dark 
film. Such illustrations are always mislead- 
ing. You know illustrations are not truths, — 
people sometimes mistake them for truths, — 
but no, they are not truths in themselves ; they 
are simply used to explain truths, and in many 
cases they do not fully explain and make the 
truths clear to people's minds. In some cases 
they misinterpret and mislead people. This il- 
lustration of an ink spot or dark film for sin 
is a very good instance of a misleading illus- 
tration. 

Sin or crime, you know, is a legal term. 
Read now the law books. What do you find 



92 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

there? The laws says, " You must not steal." 
But what if you have already stolen? Does 
it say, " Correct your misdeed and you shall be 
all right " ? No, the law says at once, " Such 
shall be punished by an imprisonment of so 
many years." The law says again, " You must 
not kill." But what if you have already killed 
some one? The law does not say, "Reform 
your character and you shall be free." No; it 
says again, " You shall be punished by death." 

Yes, every law of the state has punishment 
attached to the violation of the law. If there 
is no punishment then the law is powerless. 
Nobody would be afraid of violating the law 
if no penalty were attached to its violation. 
The reason people are so afraid of breaking 
the law of the state is that if they do break it 
they will be punished; no matter who they 
may be there is no respect of persons in the 
eyes of the law, although some lawbreakers 
may manage to escape punishment for a time. 
Every lawbreaker must sometime receive his 
due recompense. And there are two ways of 
executing the punishment — the police and the 
prisons. If it were not for these two well- 
known means of executing the laws of the 
state they would be quite powerless. 

So, you see, sins can not be looked upon as 
such light things as some people would like, 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 93 

for they will surely bring sooner or later upon 
the offenders a terrible punishment. 

heaven's punishment 

Right here some one may raise another ob- 
jection. " All right, we agree that the laws of 
the state have punishment attached to them, 
but how about the laws of heaven, even God's 
laws ? Have they also punishment attached to 
them ? Does heaven punish sinners as the state 
punishes its offenders? And is heaven's pun- 
ishment as direct and quick as the punishment 
of the state?" 

Yes, my friends, there is a swift and sure 
punishment from God in this world. Every- 
body knows that. We have the word Tenbatsu 
[Heaven's punishment] in our language, which 
has been in use from very old times. What 
does Tenbatsu mean? It means precisely pun- 
ishment from heaven. It is not punishment by 
the state. It is not punishment by man. It is 
punishment by the King of Heaven. 

Everybody in this country fears that Ten- 
batsu. And very often it comes swiftly and 
soon. And nobody can escape it. We also 
speak of the heavenly net whose meshes at 
first sight look very big, but on close examina- 
tion we find them to be very small, so that even 
the tiniest fish can not pass through them. 



94. THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

Now all these sayings establish our belief 
in punishment from heaven for our sins. It is 
clearly stated in the law of God that even an 
idle word which a man utters on earth will not 
escape its deserved punishment in the day of 
judgment. 

I must make a few remarks about this pun- 
ishment from heaven. 

If you regard man simply as an earthly crea- 
ture whose existence ceases at the end of this 
life, then it seems as if there are imperfections 
in this punishment from heaven and much in- 
justice. Not always in this world are good 
men honoured and bad men disgraced. Not 
always do honest men get wealthy and dis- 
honest men become poor. Not always are the 
righteous prosperous and the wicked unfortu- 
nate. Do we not often find the reverse of it? 
How was it in the case of our national hero 
Kusunoki Masashige? 

. Though he was a good man, loved and hon- 
oured by all men of the country, his family did 
not continue even for three generations. 
Whereas, Ashikaga Takauji, the founder of 
the Ashikaga Shogunate, whom every Japa- 
nese knows to have been a bad man, was so 
fortunate as to have his descendants for fifteen 
generations rulers of Japan. His family pros- 
pered while the other family was short-lived. 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 95 

Because of such instances as these there are 
many men who doubt the existence of heavenly 
punishment or heavenly justice. 

They say this world is ruled by chance or 
fate and not by the wise providence of God. 

Of course many good people have tried to 
explain these seeming injustices. I have heard 
many explanations myself, but I confess I am 
not satisfied with them. 

As long as you regard men as creatures be- 
longing to this world alone for whom there is 
no future life, you can never explain this vexed 
question. But I believe that man is not created 
for this world alone. Man has his future life 
also. He has an existence beyond the grave. 
Our earthly life is simply a pilgrimage to that 
life. We are simply travellers in this world. 
And our pilgrimage on this earth lasts only 
fifty or seventy years, but our life in the next 
world is eternal. What are these short periods 
of fifty or seventy years of our earthly pil- 
grimage compared with that eternal life of the 
next world? Can they be compared? This 
present life when it is passed will seem like a 
half-forgotten dream of the night. 

LIFE IS A VOYAGE 

Moreover, the very object of our coming 
into the world is not achieved in this present 



96 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

life. Here we are simply voyaging to the next 
world where our real destinies lie. 

Suppose you go to Yokohama and buy a 
ticket for America and get on board the ship. 
It will take about twenty days to cross the 
ocean. And now during those twenty days 
of your sea voyage to America you will meet 
with all kinds of experiences, good and bad, 
pleasant and unpleasant. Some days you may 
have dancing, music, moving pictures, theatri- 
cal performances and various other enjoy- 
ments. Surely you will have a good time. But 
at the same time you must be prepared to meet 
unpleasant experiences too. But whether good 
or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, it is only for 
the twenty days, that is all. When you get to 
America you will forget all these experiences, 
or perhaps remember vaguely for a time. 
These are not the object of your voyage. You 
did not buy your ticket for America to enjoy 
the ship life. Your object was not on the 
boat. What was your object in going to 
America ? Were you not going there for study 
or for business or on a visit ? Surely, you had 
some reason for going there and for which you 
made your sea voyage of twenty days. The 
voyage was simply a means to reach the end 
you had in view. 

So, I think, our life on earth is a voyage. 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 97 

When we were born we all bought tickets for 
our voyage and entered the ship of life. We 
are all on board the ship of life now. Every- 
one of us has a ticket in his hand which entitles 
him to the eternal haven at the other end of 
this early life. And now I think some of you 
are already far out on the ocean. Perhaps 
many of you have already gone as far as 
Hawaii. Old folks like myself may be almost 
within sight of the Golden Gate. May be there 
are some among you who will reach your des- 
tiny tonight. We can not tell. We do not 
know how near we are to that eternal haven. 

I see many young people here tonight. Per- 
haps you may be saying to yourselves, " Oh 
no, we are not so near to that haven, — cer- 
tainly we are yet very far out. We have 
plenty of years to live yet on this earth. We 
need not yet bother about our arrival there. 
We are quite safe for awhile." 

But no, my young friends, even you are not 
safe. How many of our young people are 
dying now very early in life. No, no, not one 
is safe from that final call from heaven. 
Maybe the youngest of my hearers tonight will 
hear that call before the next dawn. 

Moreover, life is very short on this earth. 
It is like the twinkling of an eye. It is a 
dream of the night. When I was young I said 



98 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

to myself : " Oh, I have a long voyage yet to 
make. I need not hurry. I need not bother 
myself about the future life. I have plenty of 
time to deal with such matters in the future." 
And now I am sixty-three years old. Do not 
people say that fifty years is the ordinary 
length of a man's life here on earth? Then I 
have passed already thirteen years beyond the 
span of the ordinary human life. But how 
quickly it has passed. How short it seems to 
me, after all. When I look back upon the 
years of my life I feel that human life is but 
a dream. When it is passed it seems like the 
twinkling of an eye. 

Moreover, when it is passed it becomes 
valueless. Good and bad, pleasant and un- 
pleasant, all look alike. I have had good times 
as well as bad times. I have had happy 
days as well as unhappy days. But when they 
are passed they become altogether of no 
account. 

There are some old folks who are always 
talking about the past. Their thoughts are 
turned toward the past. They can not talk 
about anything but their past deeds and past 
events, and their conversation is not interest- 
ing to young folks, because the young folks 
are looking ahead while the old folks are look- 
ing back. 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 99 

But the real joy of life is not in the past; it 
is in the hope of the future, and we are all 
hastening to that land of our hopes. 

THE JUDGMENT SEAT 

When we get to the shore of the other world 
where are we all going ? Can we go wherever 
we wish to go ? Shall we still have freedom of 
choice in selecting our eternal habitation? 

No, my friends, then we have no freedom. 
I tell you that there is but one place after death 
whither we must all go without a single ex- 
ception — and that is into the presence of God. 
Every man when he reaches the shore of the 
other world must appear at once before the 
judgment seat of God. This is not the result 
of choice but it is of necessity. Man may 
talk of liberty and freedom as much as he 
pleases, but there are two points in human life 
where he has absolutely no choice. At both 
ends of this life, entrance and exit, man has 
absolutely no freedom to choose. Who on 
earth has ever come into this world by his own 
free choice? And who again can choose the 
place to which he will go ? You were not born 
in this city of Tokyo by your own free choice, 
were you ? You did not come into this world 
by your own will nor by the will of any man, 
but by the will of the Almighty God who or- 



100 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

dained you to be born into this world. And, 
in the same way, you will not go out of this 
world by your own choice, but you will be 
taken away from this world by that final call 
from heaven which no man on earth can resist. 

Can kings or emperors, the mighty or the 
wealthy resist this final call from heaven a 
single moment? 

When you appear before the judgment seat 
of God you will receive your just recompense 
for your life on this earth. Then if you are 
found righteous and perfect you can enter into 
the Kingdom of Heaven with joy and glad- 
ness. And you shall enjoy eternal life in that 
land of perfect peace and happiness. 

But if, on the contrary, you are found sin- 
ners and transgressors of the law of God, you 
will be punished by being thrown into eternal 
hell. 

THERE IS A HELU 

I tell you, my dear friends, there is a place 
called hell in the future world, where all the 
transgressors of the law of God shall be sent 
in punishment for their sins. This is an eter- 
nal truth and eternal fact. 

I know there are many people, perhaps even 
among you tonight, who say : " Oh, I do not 
believe that there is any such place as hell in 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 101 

the future world. That simply exists in the 
imagination of certain religious people. Such 
teachings are simply used for moral purposes, 
for discouraging evil and encouraging good. 
No intelligent man nowadays believes in such 
things as hell and heaven in the future life. 
That is the old-fashioned way of thinking." 

Very well, if you do not believe in the exist- 
ence of the future world I will not force that 
belief upon you. Belief can not be forced on 
any man by any means. But please be assured 
of this, that whether you believe it or not, the 
fact of the existence of the future world will 
not be affected by your belief or unbelief. 
Man's belief or unbelief has nothing to do with 
the existence of hell. You may believe or dis- 
believe anything you please, but that does not 
change the fact. The sun which sets in the 
West this evening will surely rise tomorrow 
morning in the East. This is fact. The fact 
you know can not be changed by your opinion. 
You may dispute and deny other people's opin- 
ions as much as you please, but you can not 
deny the facts. A fact is indisputable. The 
existence of the future world is fact. You 
can not make or unmake it by your simple be- 
lief or unbelief. Hell and heaven will rise be- 
fore you when your soul sinks below the hori- 
zon of this earthly life, just as surely as the 



102 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

sun will rise tomorrow morning in the eastern 
sky. 

Be careful, then, lest when you die you be 
thrown into hell, the existence of which you 
denied in your ignorance. 

Do you think that any country can be well 
governed without having a hell in it ? Do you 
think our beloved country would be in such a 
state of peace and prosperity if she had no hell 
within her limits? What, then, is this hell of 
our country? Why, prisons are the hell of a 
country. Every one who has broken the law 
of the state shall be thrown into this hell. 
You know the breaking of the law of the coun- 
try is not a light thing, such as a fault or a 
mistake which can be easily corrected. No, 
breaking a law of the state is rebelHon against 
the sovereignty of the country. So it deserves 
the just recompense of being thrown into 
prison. And because we have such places as 
prisons in our country we can enjoy our pres- 
ent state of peace and safety. 

Suppose we had no prisons in our country. 
Every one could do just as he pleased. He 
could kill, he could steal, or burn down other 
people's houses, and yet he could not be ar- 
rested or punished for his misconduct because 
there would be no police to arrest him and no 
prison to confine him in. What would be the 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 103 

condition of such a lawless country? Do you 
think we could live in peace and safety even a 
single day in such a country? No, no, if there 
is no hell in the country the whole country will 
become hell itself, and no one would want to 
live in such a country. 

Just so, when you go to the next world, you 
will surely find a hell in that country. Every 
one who has violated the laws of that King- 
dom in this world shall be thrown into prison 
in the next world. So that the Kingdom of 
Heaven shall not be troubled by those evil 
doers, and all the people of the Kingdom shall 
live in peace and happiness for ever. All sin- 
ners must be punished by eternal suffering. 

Now this is the second fundamental truth 
of Christianity. 



PART III 
CONCERNING SALVATION 



WHAT IS SALVATION? 

NOW we come to the third point, the last 
but the most important of all. 
This is the heart of Christianity. 

I hope you will be patient a little longer and 
listen to me attentively because this is the most 
difficult part of all and I will try to explain it 
as clearly as I can. You have seen that the 
first was on God and the second on sin, and 
now the third is on salvation. 

Salvation is the saving of man from sin and 
its punishment. How can men be saved ? By 
the vicarious sacrifice of Christ upon the cross. 
There is no other way of salvation. Every 
man must be saved by believing in the power 
of the cross of Christ. Therefore, the doctrine 
of atonement through the sacrifice of Christ 
upon the cross is the most important doctrine 
of all. If you can not fully understand this 
central truth of Christianity you can never un- 
derstand what Christianity is. 

Christianity is not a mere collection of 

moral teachings like the works of Confucius 

and Mencius. It is not a mere code of ethics. 

It is the way of salvation. And that way doe§ 

107 



108 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

not merely lie in following the Christ as many 
people think, but it lies in his blood shed upon 
the cross. This is the very point in the Chris- 
tian religion where people are apt to make a 
mistake. They think men are to be saved by 
becoming good through the teachings of 
Christ They think that if they read the Bible, 
study its teachings and keep its commandments 
they will reform their character and become 
good and righteous men and will then be saved. 
In fact they think that they can be saved by 
their own good works through the teacliings of 
the Bible. 

But this is a great mistake. We are not to 
be saved by becoming good men. We must 
be saved in order to become good men. Good 
men are not going to be saved but saved men 
are going to become good. 

We must first of all be saved by believing 
in the saving power of the cross of Christ, 
then we will be made good men by following 
the teachings of Christ. Salvation must come 
first and then it will be easy to become good. 
The cross first and after that the teaching. 

Teachings are like nourishing food. They 
are very good and necessary to keep up the 
health of the body. But nourishing food can 
not take the place of medicine. Do not de^ 
pend on nourishing food alone for the cure 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 109 

of the sick. When people get sick they call, 
first of all, a physician, and take medicine. 
And then they take nourishing food to keep 
them in health. 

Just so, sinners are spiritually sick men. To 
be saved from this spiritual sickness they must 
send for the spiritual physician and take his 
saving medicine, which is belief in the cross of 
Christ. Then after that they will take and 
greatly relish his nourishing food which is the 
teachings and commandments of Christ. 

That no one can be saved from the conse- 
quences of sin by the mere following of moral 
and religious teachings is very clear. In moral 
and religious teachings themselves there is no 
power to save a man from the consequences of 
sin. He may repent of his sin and correct his 
conduct as best he can, yet he can by no means 
undo the wrong committed against another. 

MIGAWARI— SUBSTITUTE 

Take a case in the criminal court. For 

example, if I kill a man tonight I shall be at 
once arrested and sent to a court to be tried 
by judges. And if I am found guilty I shall 
be sentenced to death. I must die for taking 
another man's life. That is the penalty of my 
offence. I must pay it myself. And now 



110 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

when I am put into prison to await execution 
I find a Bible in the prison and reading it I 
find the teachings of Christ about murder. I 
repent of my conduct and determine to correct 
it. " Oh," I say, " I have done wrong, I will 
never do it again. I will correct my conduct 
and will surely become a good man hereafter.'* 

Now I appeal to the judge to pardon my of- 
fence because I have truly repented and really 
intend to reform my life hereafter. 

Do you think the judge will pardon me be- 
cause of my true repentance. Will he say, 
" All right, if you really repent of your sin 
and truly intend to reform your character, I 
will pardon your offence. Now go in peace to 
your home." 

No, my friends, after the judge has once 
pronounced sentence of death he can by no 
means revoke it on such a ground as that. 
No matter how truly you repent of your past 
conduct and how sincerely you intend to re- 
form your character hereafter, if you have 
already killed a man you can never undo that 
act of murder. You will be a murderer for- 
ever. You can never change it — you can 
never get rid of the stain. This evil deed can 
never be undone. So you see, crime must 
receive its deserved punishment. 

However, if you ask me, is there absolutely 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 111 

no way of saving a murderer's life, I say yes, 
there was in the olden time one way of saving 
such a murderer's life. That was by Migch 
wari — a substitute. An innocent person tak- 
ing on himself the offence of the criminal and 
dying in his stead. For instance, in case I 
murdered a man and am sentenced to death, 
my friend offers to take my punishment and 
die in my place — this is Migawari. Of course 
in the present time we have no such provision 
in our criminal law. No Migawari is allowed. 
But in the old days we had frequent cases of 
this substitution. 

For example, the son died in his father's 
place, the servant died for his master, the 
friend for his friend, and so on. When a 
father was sentenced to death for a crime his 
son stepped in and said to the judge, " It was 
not my father who committed this offence, it 
was I, so please sentence me to death in his 
stead." Thus the son died in the father's stead 
and the father was saved. The son redeemed 
the father's life. 

Is not that the strongest proof of a son's af- 
fection for his father? Can any one have 
greater love than this — to lay down his life for 
another? 

In the old days of feudalism we had fre- 
quent cases of faithful retainers dying in the 



112 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

lord's stead, thus redeeming their master's life 
with their own. This is regarded as the high- 
est expression of loyalty to a master. These 
are the best examples of the two fundamental 
virtues of our national morality, namely, loy- 
alty and filial piety. 

Christ also said, " Greater love hath no man 
than this, that a man lay down his life for his 
friend." 

Yes, Migawari is the noblest virtue of man- 
kind. No man can go farther than that. 

JESUS IS OUR MIGAWARI 

Now if you look at the cross of Christ from 
this viewpoint you can easily understand the 
meaning of salvation of men through the cross 
of Christ. The death of Christ is the Mi^o 
wari of all mankind. He died in our stead. 

As I told you before, we have all sinned. 
Sinners must be punished. Sin once com- 
mitted can not be wiped out. It must receive 
its due recompense. Though you may repent 
of your past conduct ever so deeply and try to 
reform your character, your mere repentance 
and reformation of character can never wipe 
out your sin. That sin cleaves to you forever 
and claims its just recompense. Therefore, the 
only way of being saved from the consequences 
of your sin is by Migawari which is substi- 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 113 

tution. Some one must die in your stead. 
Some one must atone for your sin. Otherwise 
you can never be saved. 

But no human being can do this for another. 
All men are sinners. Sinners can not save sin- 
ners. Sages or saints, they can not atone for 
the sins of another. 

Confucius was one of the greatest sages 
that this world has ever produced, and he has 
left us many wise sayings and useful precepts. 
But as he was human he was also a sinner be- 
fore God as we all are. So even Confucius 
could not atone for our sins. And even in his 
teachings he has refrained from speaking too 
freely about heaven and the future life. Be- 
cause he was human and his knowledge was 
limited to this world. 

I think Confucius was quite right and quite 
honest in refraining from talking about things 
which he did not know with certainty. 

But here you might ask again: How could 
one man, even Christ, perform this Migawari 
and be a substitute for all mankind for all ages ? 
Is it not quite unthinkable that one man could 
take away all the sins of all mankind from the 
beginning of the world unto its very end ? 

But listen ! Christ is not a mere man. He 
is not merely the greatest of all sages. He is 
not merely the greatest of all saints. He is not 



114 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

simply the greatest and best man that this 
world has ever seen. Some people want to 
consider Christ as the highest type of human- 
ity. But they are tremendously mistaken. 
Christ is more than man, more even than the 
greatest and highest man in the world. Christ 
is the only begotten Son of God. In fact 
Christ is God. 

" In the beginning was the Word, and the 
Word was with God, and the Word was God. 
— All things were made through Him; and 
without Him was not anything made that was 
made." 

This whole universe was created by and 
through Christ. So you see the Bible teaches 
that Christ is very God. And this very God 
of heaven and earth came down to this earth 
which He had made and became a man and 
dwelt among men, in order to save men from 
their sins. And He taught us the truth about 
God and about heaven and the future life. 
Because He being God knows all about these 
things. 

" No man hath seen God at any time ; the 
only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the 
Father, He hath declared Him." 

No human being can teach the whole truth 
about God ; none but the only begotten Son of 
the Father, 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 115 

You see now there is an infinite distance 
between this Son of God who knows every- 
thing in heaven and earth, and these great 
sages of the ancient world who refrained from 
talking about the unknown things of heaven. 
Indeed, such a difference as that between 
heaven and earth. 

Christ not only taught us the truth about 
God. He also lived the very life of God upon 
the earth and He died the very death of sinners 
upon the cross. As He is God, of course there 
was no sin found in him. He knew no sin 
himself. Yet He took upon himself all our 
sins and was made a substitute for us and died 
in our place and stead. And of course He can 
be made the substitute for all mankind because 
He is Almighty God, and Almighty God must 
be greater than this little insignificant world 
of human beings. Therefore He was able to 
make full restitution for the sins of all man- 
kind for all ages. 

And now, as Christ has died in our stead 
upon the cross, we are made free from sin, just 
as in my last illustration of a friend's dying in 
my stead I was made free from the guilt of 
murder. 

So now, all those who believe in Christ and 
accept His vicarious sacrifice upon the cross, 
will be made free from all sins and conse- 



116 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

quently from all penalties of sin. Our sins 
are now forgiven. They are atoned for by His 
death upon the cross. 

So now by trusting in the efficiency of 
Christ's atoning sacrifice, we are saved from 
going to hell as the punishment for sin com- 
mitted in this world, and instead of going to 
hell we are entitled to enter into the Kingdom 
of Heaven and there enjoy eternal bliss. 

BLOOD-SEALED COVENANT 

Now, this is what is meant by salvation 
through Christ. So you see we are not saved 
by the teachings of Christ but by His blood 
shed upon the cross. Of course, after we are 
saved by the blood of Christ we need the teach- 
ings of Christ also. Just as a sick man needs 
nourishing food after he has been cured by 
medicine. 

Now as this is the most important of all the 
doctrines of Christianity, I hope you will un- 
derstand it. Christ did not save us by His 
mere preaching and teaching. He was not a 
mere preacher of righteousness. He did not 
simply say : " Do good and abstain from evil 
and you shall be saved." No, He saved us in 
spite of our evil doings and sinful acts. And 
He did it, not.by words but by deeds, even by 
the shedding of His blood upon the cross. 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 117 

Indeed, the very secret of the power of 
Christianity lies here. It does not lie in His 
>vise sayings but in His shedding of blood. 

As you know, blood is' the symbol in some 
countries of the power to make a man sacrifice 
his life. It is the drop of red blood which 
binds a man to keep his covenant, even at the 
risk of his own Hfe. 

You remember when the forty-seven re- 
tainers of the prince of Ako took that solemn 
oath to revenge their master's death by taking 
the life of his enemy, after they had signed 
their names to this covenant they sealed it with 
their own blood, thus making the covenant a 
blood-covenant (shi wo kisseru) even unto 
death. Each one of the forty-seven pledged 
himself to give his life for the accomplishment 
of this great purpose. And all actually did 
give their lives in remaining true to their 
pledge. 

Now Christ made a covenant with us for 
the salvation of our souls. The covenant is 
this : Whosoever believes on Him shall be 
saved from sin and its penalty, no matter how 
great a sinner he may be. And this covenant 
He sealed with His blood. 

Now you see that the religion of Christ is 
a blood-covenant religion, and such a religion 
can make its believers willing to risk life itself. 



118 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

Christians do not simply profess their belief 
with their mouths, but they defend their faith 
with their lives. 

Every one who becomes a Christian pledges 
himself to sacrifice his life if necessary for the 
Christ he follows. Christ required his fol- 
lowers to do this. He said, " If any man 
would come after me, let him take up his 
cross and follow me." That is, be ready to die 
for Him, even upon the cross. 

The disciple must follow the example of his 
teacher. If the teacher has laid down his life 
for others the disciple must be ready to do the 
same. Christians must be ready to lay down 
their lives, not for the Master's sake alone, but 
for the sake of those whom their master loves, 
even the sinners of the world. In a word, the 
true Christian is a man of sacrifice, willing 
even to die upon the cross in the service of God 
and man. 

SPIRIT OF SACRIFICE 

I desire that our nation, as a nation, should 
be filled with this spirit of sacrifice. Our 
people are noted for their spirit of sacrifice in 
times of great emergency. When our country 
is in danger every man is ready to take up 
arms and fight till death if need be. Such a 
spirit is worthy of high praise. 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 119 

But nowadays everybody knows the import- 
ance of such public spirit. Everywhere people 
are showing their public spirit in their coun- 
try's emergency. Such a spirit of patriotism is 
not peculiar to our country. The last great 
world war has conclusively proved that almost 
every nation of the civilized world has this 
spirit of patriotism when any great emergency 
calls for it. 

But what I am saying here is not of the 
spirit of patriotism, however great it may be. 
The true spirit of sacrifice makes people will- 
ing to give up their lives for a righteous cause 
at any time, whether in time of war or in time 
of peace, whether in high public positions or in 
ordinary life. 

Every statesman should be ready to sacri- 
fice his life for the welfare of the state at any 
time. Every educator should be ready to stake 
his life for the sake of education. Every re- 
ligious teacher should be ready to die for the 
spiritual welfare of his countrymen. Parents 
should be ready to sacrifice their lives for the 
children, and children should be ready to sacri- 
fice their lives for the parents. Husbands for 
wives and wives for husbands. What would 
we say if a husband should save his own life 
leaving his wife at the mercy of a murderer? 
And we all expect that the captain of a ship 



120 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

shall be always ready to sacrifice his life for 
the safety of his passengers. If in time of 
shipwreck the captain should leave the boat 
before the passengers, what would be said of 
such a man ? 

I believe there is nothing in this world so 
noble and so beautiful as this spirit of sacrifice. 
I wish that our countrymen could be filled with 
this spirit, and that not for our country alone 
but for the benefit of all mankind. Japan 
today must not live for herself alone, nor for 
the Far East alone, but for the whole world. 

But to make a people capable of such sacri- 
fice we need the religion of sacrifice. We need 
a religion sealed with the blood of its founder. 
Formal religions are of no avail. 

You know that for many years I have been 
lecturing on various subjects throughout the 
empire. I have been lecturing on politics, on 
economy, on education, on social reform, and 
so on. But now I have laid aside all other 
subjects and am only preaching this blood- 
sealed religion of Christ throughout the length 
and breadth of the country. I have deter- 
mined not to know anything among my coun- 
trymen but this Jesus Christ and Him cruci- 
fied. Because I believe there is nothing else in 
heaven or on earth that can save a man from 
sin and its penalty. And there is nothing on 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 121 

earth that can change a man from a creature 
of selfishness into an angel of sacrifice. The 
only way of making our people a people of 
sacrifice for the benefit of all mankind, is this 
blood-sealed religion of Christianity. 

THE PERSECUTED RELIGION 

But here one might ask, " Does Christianity 
really produce such a people? Is there really 
such power in the rehgion of Christ? Do 
Christians show this spirit of sacrifice any 
more than heathens ? " 

Yes, Christianity has proved its power by 
its history during nineteen hundred years. 
Among all the religions of the world none has 
suffered such severe persecution at the hands 
of its enemies as Christianity. No other re- 
ligion has ever produced so many martyrs as 
the religion of Christ. 

When Christianity was first introduced into 
the Roman Empire how cruelly those Roman 
people treated the followers of that religion! 
For many centuries they persecuted all Chris- 
tians in the most cruel manner. They were 
burned alive, thrown into dens of lions and 
crucified. The Romans tried in every way to 
extinguish Christianity, but they could not ac- 
complish their purpose. The more they per- 
secuted the more it spread and the more its 



122 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

followers increased. The blood of the martyrs 
became the seed of the church in the Roman 
Empire. 

We have the story of cruel persecution of 
Christianity by the Tokugawa Shoguns in our 
own country. For more than two centuries 
the Tokugawas cruelly persecuted the believers 
in the Christian religion. In one place we are 
told that many holes were dug in the ground 
for the purpose of burying the Christians alive. 
In these holes they were buried up to their 
necks. Then the executioners came with their 
saws in their hands saying, " Now, Christians, 
will you renounce your faith in this evil re- 
ligion of Christ and be dug out of this hole and 
be saved? Or, will you still hold to your 
faith and have your heads sawed off? Which 
will you do ? " 

Thus each one was threatened in turn. To 
the surprise of the executioners no one was 
frightened by their threats. They all said they 
would lose their heads rather than renounce 
their faith in Christ, because He had died upon 
the cross for them. So then the Christians 
lost their lives in this terrible manner. It is 
said there were many women among these 
poor Christians who were persecuted in this 
way. Women are weak by nature, they dread 
physical pain more than men; but even these 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 123 

timid women faced this terrible death with 
calmness and faith. 

POWER OF THE CROSS 

My friends, how do you account for this? 
Whence came this courage and firmness of 
these early Christians? I tell you the only 
source of such courage and firmness is in the 
cross of Christ. By the cross of Christ the 
weak become strong, cowards turn into brave 
men and timid women become fearless. 

If you truly understand the real meaning of 
the cross of Christ you can conquer all things 
by the power of that cross. 

The cross of Christ is really power unto 
salvation. No matter how wicked a man has 
been if he really understands the dying love of 
Jesus upon the cross, his heart will be melted 
and he will become a new man in Christ. 

I know many such cases of reformation in 
wicked men. In one place there was a man 
who had determined to kill another man and 
as he was on his way to do it, he passed by 
a Christian meeting place. Stepping in for a 
few minutes he heard the preacher tell of the 
dying love of Jesus Christ. This touched the 
man's heart and melted it with the fire of 
love. He flung away his revolver that he had 
concealed in his pocket, and confessed hi§ 3m 



124 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

and became a follower of Christ that night. 
From that time on instead of killing men he 
sought to save them, and died, as I was told, 
in actual service for others. 

" For the preaching of the cross of Christ 
is to them that perish foolishness, but to us 
which are saved, it is the power of God." 

Yes, there is power in the cross of Christ. 
The power not only to save sinners from the 
penalty of sin, but also to save them from the 
power of sin and make them new men in 
Christ. And why is it so? Because as you 
know, the cross of Christ is the perfect revela- 
tion of the infinite love of God. 

" For God so loved the world that he gave 
his only begotten son that whosoever believeth 
on him should not perish but have eternal life." 

Love, you know, is power. Love can con- 
quer all things. No power on earth can over- 
come it. It can overcome everything. It can 
melt the hard hearts of wicked men. 

DR. JOSEPH NEESHIMA 

Let me illustrate the power of love to melt 
the heart of man by an example which I am 
glad to speak of here tonight. You all know, 
I suppose, the first president of the Doshisha 
University in Kyoto was Dr. Joseph Neeshima. 
He is counted among the three great edu- 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 125 

cators of the era of Meiji (the reign of the 
late emperor). 

Fukuzawa Ukichi, Nakamura Keinu and 
Joseph Neeshima, were the three : I am glad to 
say that I personally knew all these great 
teachers. But of these three I was most inti- 
mately connected with Dr. Neeshima. I was 
a student in his school in those early days of 
Doshisha. But afterward I was called back by 
him to teach in the school and to be his assist- 
ant. I worked with him many years until the 
very day he left us for the better land. So you 
see I ought to know him pretty well. Yes, I 
can say I knew him best of all. 

Dr. Neeshima was a great man, but his 
greatness did not lie in his knowledge nor in 
his intellectual power. He was not an espe- 
cially eloquent man. He was not a fine writer. 
He left no book behind him. His greatness lay 
in his lofty character. His was a great person- 
ality. Indeed, he had a big heart, full of love. 
He loved his students as his own children. He 
was in truth a loving teacher. And his great- 
ness lay indeed in his great love for his 
students. 

TRUE EDUCATOR 

I think every educator ought to have this 
qualification. Without this kind of love he 



126 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

can not become a successful teacher of young 
people. Of course, to become a teacher one 
must have knowledge to impart, and mental 
power to lead and guide his pupils. In a 
word, he must be a man of learning and of 
mental ability. Without these qualifications 
he can not become a real teacher. But even 
with these essential qualifications if he has not 
real love for his pupils he can not become an 
efficient teacher. If a teacher shows that he 
has no such true love for his students I think 
he had better give up the profession of teach- 
ing and engage in some other work. 

You know when we send our children to 
school to get an education, we commit them 
entirely into the hands of their teachers. We 
ask these teachers to make useful men and 
women out of these crude untaught children 
for the country's sake. Perhaps it might be 
better if we could keep our children in our own 
homes and teach them ourselves, thus training 
them according to our own wishes and desires. 
But that is impossible. We parents can not 
undertake such a task ourselves. So we ask 
the teachers to do it for us. And they are 
undertaking this difficult task of making men 
and women and good citizens of our children. 

If therefore teachers are really doing the 
work of the parents they should have the same 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 127 

parental affection for the children. Without 
this affection how can they take such a difficult 
task upon themselves and accomplish it to the 
satisfaction of the state? 

But, if you say, " Oh, no, no, the work of a 
teacher is not such a great task as you think. 
The work of a teacher is to impart some of the 
special knowledge which he himself has ac- 
quired to the young people who come under his 
care. It is nothing more. Man-making and 
character building are not the essential work 
of a teacher. To expect anything beyond this 
passing on of knowledge is to expect too much 
from the teacher of the present day." 

Well, if educators simply content themselves 
with selling their knowledge for wages of 
course I have nothing more to say. I am sorry 
to see that some of them do, though they do 
not openly confess such thoughts. There are 
at the present day many teachers among us 
who are simply selling their knowledge for 
their own profit, and for the sake of our coun- 
try I am sorry to see this. 

But if on the contrary our educators under- 
take, for the parents, the difficult task of mak- 
ing good men and women and good citizens 
out of their children, they must first of all pre- 
pare themselves for their work with true 
parental affection. 



128 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

I know that President Neeshima was truly 
such a loving teacher. I know several in- 
stances in his life which revealed this love. 
When we were dissatisfied or discouraged with 
anything in the school, we used to go to our 
president to complain of such troubles. He 
was always glad to receive us. And while we 
were talking with him all our dissatisfaction 
and discontent seemed to melt away in his 
sunny kindly presence, just as ice melts under 
the warmth of the sun's rays. There was some 
mysterious power in our president which no 
man could resist. 

STUDENT STRIKE 

Once during the presidency of Dr. Nee- 
shima there was a great disturbance in the 
Doshisha, caused by friction between teachers 
and students. The whole school was thrown 
into disorder. There was a great strike among 
the students. The president tried in every way 
to conciliate both parties. But even he could 
not succeed in his task of reconciliation. When 
every hope of bringing the school to order was 
gone, it was decided as a last resort to expell 
the disturbing elements from the school. 
There was no other way but to apply this 
extreme form of discipline. 

One morning when all the teachers and stu- 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 129 

dents were assembled in the chapel the presi- 
dent came in with a cane in his hand. Whis- 
perings were heard — " Why, the president has 
a cane, he has come into chapel with a cane in 
his hand/' As soon as he came in he stood 
before the school and said — " Gentlemen, I 
am sorry to see such a disturbance in the 
school. It is a disgrace to Doshisha. But, as 
such a disturbance has arisen we must punish 
the person or persons who are responsible for 
it, so this morning I will punish the offender." 
Of course everybody expected the president 
was going to punish the ringleaders of the riot- 
ing. But, the president continued to speak. 
" But," he said, " gentlemen, I can not lay this 
responsibility upon any of the students, neither 
upon any of the teacher3. Then who is re- 
sponsible? If neither students nor teachers 
are responsible for this disturbance, upon 
whom shall this responsibility fall ? I will tell 
you. The person who is wholly responsible 
for this great disturbance in Doshisha is this 
Joseph Neeshima, its president. It is the duty 
of a president to govern his school and keep it 
in good order. Now this president Neeshima 
has failed to preserve order in his school; he 
has failed in the discharge of his duty and thus 
caused this great disturbance in Doshisha. 
This disturbance has not only brought great 



130 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

misfortune upon the students and has given 
great trouble to the teachers, but it has brought 
disgrace upon this institution. All this has 
come as the consequence of the president's in- 
ability to govern the school as he ought. So 
now the whole responsibility must be laid upon 
him, he must bear it and he must be pun- 
ished." 

As he finished speaking he lifted his cane in 
his right hand and holding out his left hand he 
began to strike it with all his might, again and 
again. He struck his hand so hard that finally 
the cane broke into three pieces, and you can 
easily imagine its effect upon his hand. It 
began to bleed and the whole school was taken 
aback. How could they any longer endure 
such a sight. 

One of the students rushed up to the presi- 
dent's side and seizing his arm began to cry, 
" Oh, my teacher ! my teacher ! " This cry 
broke up the whole school. Teachers and stu- 
dents all burst into tears and wept aloud. It 
was a wonderful sight indeed. The president 
with his hand bleeding and the whole school 
weeping! 

Why did he punish himself? Was there 
anything in his conduct which deserved such 
treatment as this? A man of love, with his 
heart full of fatherly affection for his students, 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 131 

most faithfully working day and night for the 
welfare of the school? What fault could you 
find in such a man as that? 

No, no, we could find no fault in him. He 
was indeed respected and honoured and loved 
by the whole school. Though the students rose 
in rebellion it was not against the president but 
against the teachers of the school. In fact, the 
president had had nothing whatever to do with 
the uprising, and the whole school knew that. 
Why then being a faultless man should he 
punish himself before the whole school? 

There was no need of explanation. Every- 
body understood that the president was per- 
forming Migawari — substituting for his stu- 
dents. Those students had transgressed the 
laws of the school, they knew that. And 
transgressors must be punished. The inflict- 
ing of severe punishment upon the rebellious 
students was the only way by which the school 
could be kept in order. Therefore as the presi- 
dent of the school he must punish them and 
expell them. There was no other way to take. 
But Dr. Neeshima was not simply a president, 
an administrator of the school. He was the 
real father of his students in interest and af- 
fection, loving them as his own children. How 
could he strike his beloved children even in 
punishment? So you see he was placed be- 



132 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

tween two fires — ^justice and love. But love 
gained the day. He decided to be wounded 
for their transgressions ; to be bruised for their 
iniquities; to take upon himself the chastise- 
ment of their sins. And thus with his stripes 
their wounds were healed. 

THE POWER OF LOVE 

By this act of love the hearts of the erring 
students were entirely changed. No longer the 
rebels of yesterday, they were the most faith- 
ful and devoted students of the whole school. 
They began to say, *' If our president loves us 
so much as not to spare himself even such suf- 
fering as this, should we not love him more ? " 
" We are ready to give our lives, if need be, 
for such a president," they said. 

Yes, for a good man, a man with true love, 
men sometimes venture to die. 

Afterwards those rebellious students had 
their picture taken in commemoration of this 
memorable event. They grouped themselves 
around a table upon which were the three 
pieces of the broken cane. The spirit of the 
school was changed. All friction between 
teachers and students vanished entirely. Ill 
feelings among the students were all gone. 
The school was melted into one harmonious 
whole by this love of the president. Yes, it 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 133 

was born again, and became an entirely new 
school. Discipline was restored, order was 
kept and the dignity of the school was greater 
than ever. We all had witnessed the power 
of love. 

Dr. Neeshima was not naturally a very elo- 
quent man. But when he preached he was 
quite often in tears. These tears were power- 
ful sermons and we were all moved by them. 
But this silent sermon of the bleeding hand 
was the most powerful sermon that revered 
teacher ever preached. 

And now, my friends, whence do you think 
Dr. Neeshima obtained such a loving heart? 
Whence did he get this idea of substitution? 
Of course he got it from the cross of Christ. I 
knew him very well. He believed in the cross 
of Christ. He not only believed in the cross 
of Christ but he also tried to bear the 
cross of Christ in himself. Yes, he did show 
the cross in this case. I think the true Chris- 
tian must not only believe in the cross but must 
bear the same cross in himself. We must all 
be followers of the crucified Jesus. It is not 
necessary to do what Dr. Neeshima did, but 
we m.ust be ready to bear the cross in our own 
way and in our own circumstances. 

Christianity is the religion of love. And its 
perfect example was given upon the cross of 



134. THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

Christ. He taking upon Himself all the sin of 
the world and dying in our stead upon the 
cross is the greatest personification of the love 
of God. And His love is now melting the 
hearts of the whole world. 

CRUCIFIXION AND HARITSUKE 

You all know, I suppose, what crucifixion 
is? In our country we used to call it Hari- 
tsuke. But what we know in this country as 
Haritsuke, crucifixion, is different from cruci- 
fixion in the time of Christ. 

In our country crucifixion was in this man- 
ner. The criminal was tied with cords to the 
crossed pieces of wood and then he was pierced 
on each side with a spear. It must be a terrible 
thing to be tied to a cross and pierced with a 
spear. But a man pierced in the side with a 
spear dies instantly. The pain and suffering 
though intense are but for a moment, and then 
all is finished. 

But crucifixion in the time of Christ was not 
of this kind. In those days before a criminal 
was crucified he was stripped and scourged 
with rods. This Roman rod was made of sev- 
eral strips of leather on the ends of which 
were pieces of ivory to make the scourging 
more severe and painful. After this cruel 
scourging the cross on which the man was to 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 135 

be crucified was bound on his back and he 
was dragged along to the place of execution. 
There he was stripped of all his clothing and 
laid upon the cross, his hands outstretched, and 
the naihng began. For he was not merely tied 
with cords to the cross, he was actually nailed 
to the cross. Large iron nails, especially made 
for that purpose, were driven with a hammer 
right through the palms of both hands. That 
finished, the feet were nailed in the same man- 
ner. Sometimes the nails were driven through 
both feet together, but quite often each foot 
was nailed separately. And now after the vic- 
tim was nailed securely to the cross, it was 
raised so that the weight of the body hung 
from these cruel nails. 

Here is another difference between our 
Haritsuke and crucifixion in the time of Christ. 
In Haritsuke the man is killed instantly with a 
spear. But in the time of Christ the man was 
not killed instantly by either spear or sword. 
He was kept hanging on the cross to die of 
the most excruciating pain. Have you ever 
stuck a needle into your hand? Did it not 
cause intense pain ? Think then what it would 
mean to have a spike driven through both 
hands and feet. Can you imagine the pain 
caused by such cruel treatment? And to have 
this suffering prolonged until at last when it 



136 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

became unendurable the victim would cry out, 
" Kill me, kill me and end my pain/' If by a 
spear thrust or a sword cut you should put an 
end to his suffering at once you would be show- 
ing him great mercy. 

But in those times no one would do that. 
The object of crucifixion was not to take life 
but to inflict pain and suffering; so they left 
the victim hanging on the cross until he died a 
slow death of agony. Sometimes the victim 
lingered several days in an agony of pain. 
There is no death more painful than this death 
on the cross. Death by a spear thrust or by 
fire comes quickly, and death by hanging is 
instantaneous; but death on the cross as 
in the old time method is a lingering 
agony. 

Now, my friends, when we say that Jesus 
Christ died upon the cross it ijieans that He 
died this lingering, this most agonizing death. 
We do not know what spiritual suffering He 
endured upon the cross. Of course His spir- 
itual suffering must have been the greatest of 
all His suffering. But that is beyond our com- 
prehension. We can never know the real 
nature of that spiritual agony. But we can 
understand His bodily suffering. We can 
even feel it if we will. It is enough for us 
to know that He endured this agonizing death 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 137 

upon the cross for us, even to save us from 
sin and eternal suffering. 

Jesus was not a sinner. They found no 
fault in Him. But He took upon Himself our 
sins. God laid all our sins upon His dear Son 
and redeemed us from death by this sacrifice. 

Now, this is salvation. I hope you have 
understood it fully. 

REPENTANCE 

I told you a few minutes ago about Dr. Nee- 
shima's striking his own hand with his cane 
and thus saving his students from receiving 
their just punishment. As you heard that 
story you all seemed to be very much im- 
pressed. I noticed some of you were in tears. 
And I thank you for your sympathy with my 
dear teacher. 

But I think no one of you here tonight was 
personally acquainted with Dr. Neeshima. 
This incident took place more than thirty-five 
years ago. Moreover, perhaps you have no 
connection with the University of Doshisha. 
The true love which my beloved teacher 
showed upon that occasion has even now the 
power of melting people's hearts, people who 
never knew him and whom he did not know. 
This is indeed a wonderful quality of love. 

But, my friends, Dr. Neeshima only struck 



138 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

his left hand until it bled a little. His was not 
great suffering at all. Yet everywhere I tell 
this story people are affected by it and shed 
tears. 

It was not so with our Lord. It was not a 
mere striking of the hand until it bled. Our 
Lord was crucified. He was nailed to the cross 
in the most cruel manner. His hands and His 
feet were pierced with iron spikes. He was 
crowned with thorns. His whole body was 
mutilated and bleeding from that scourging re- 
ceived at the hands of the merciless Roman 
soldiers. 

Now, my dear friends, if your hearts are 
touched by this story of Dr. Neeshima's slight 
suffering for his students, and if you could 
shed tears for him with whom you have no 
connection, how is it with this great suffering 
of your Saviour, Jesus Christ, who died not 
for some unknown students, but for you, to 
save you from eternal suffering ? Can you shed 
tears for Him and His suffering? Of course 
you will shed tears if you take it to heart. But 
the shedding of tears is not enough. For 
Christ died to save you from sin. Repent of 
your sin, I beg of you my friends, and accept 
His offering of salvation through His cross. 
Be cleansed and purified by His blood. And 
come back, come back to your Heavenly Father 



GOD, SIN AND SALVATION 139 

once more as His dear children. This is salva- 
tion through the death of Christ upon the cross. 

DECIDE FOR CHRIST 

'And now, my friends, I hope you have all 
understood what Christianity is and what you 
ought to do. 

First, you must believe in the one true living 
God. 

Secondly, you must acknowledge your sin 
and repent of it. 

Thirdly, you must believe in the sacrifice of 
Christ upon the cross. You must believe in the 
efficacy of His atonement. You must accept 
Hinj as your Saviour and decide to follow Him 
in life or death. 

And one thing more, that is when you be- 
come a follower of Christ you must not be- 
come so only in name, but in deed. You must 
in your daily life have the real spirit of this 
sacrificial death of Christ upon the cross. You 
must also carry your own cross in your daily 
life. You must be ready to sacrifice your own 
life for the sake of your fellowmen. 

And now if you have fully understood all 
these points that I have tried to make clear 
to you, and wish to become followers of 
Christ, I think now is the time for you to make 
your decision for Christ. I will now give each 



140 THE THREE HOUR SERMON 

one of you a decision card, and if you really 
decide to accept Christianity as your religion 
and to follow Jesus Christ as your Lord and 
Master in life and death, will you please sign 
your name on that card, giving also your full 
address and the church which you prefer to 
attend? 

It is very important for you to attend some 
church regularly and receive still further in- 
struction in the Christian religion. 

Tonight I have given you only the elemen- 
tary knowledge of Christianity. You must not 
stop here, but inquire further into the deep 
things of the Christian religion. For that 
deeper knowledge of God you must go to 
church and learn of Him. 

May God bless your decision here tonight. 



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